Welcome to this week's Chutes & Ladders, our roundup of hirings, firings and retirings throughout the industry. Please send the good word—or the bad—from your shop to Conor Hale, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.
AbbVie streamlines management team to 4 executives
The consolidation, down from 10, now leaves four managers that will report to CEO Richard Gonzalez.
Under the new setup, Michael Severino, AbbVie’s executive vice president of R&D and chief scientific officer, will become vice chairman and president, overseeing R&D, HR, operations and the Big Pharma's corporate strategy office. Commercial Operations EVP Carlos Alban will serve as chief commercial officer, while Laura Schumacher, previously EVP of external affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary, was named vice chairman of external affairs and chief legal officer. Meanwhile, Bill Chase will remain as EVP of finance and administration, though he announced plans to retire later this year. FiercePharma
FDA taps Flatiron’s Amy Abernethy for oversight post
Amy Abernethy was named principal deputy commissioner of food and drugs.
Abernethy served as chief medical and scientific officer and senior VP of oncology at Flatiron Health, the cancer and real-world data software developer acquired by Roche in 2018 for $1.9 billion. At the FDA, she will succeed Rachel Sherman, retiring this month, in the top oversight role responsible for a wide range of the agency’s regulatory, clinical and scientific programs. In a letter to the agency, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb described Abernethy as a “highly regarded thought leader” in evidence generation and clinical trial efficiency, and that she has helped lead the vision for real-world evidence-based research. FierceMedtech
PPD beefs up therapeutics team with new leadership
Pharmaceutical Product Development
Darell Heiselman, D.O., and David Klein, M.D., were named VPs of global product development.
Heiselman will lead the CRO's cardiovascular and critical care work, while Klein will oversee endocrinology, metabolism and diabetes. Before joining PPD, Heiselman spent 11 years at Eli Lilly as a clinical research physician. Klein previously served as medical director at Medpace and as senior director of clinical development at Mannkind Corp. Both will aim to develop integrated development plans and help design clinical trials. FierceCRO
> Tasked with bringing pharma into a new era, chief digital officers are joining drugmakers at rapid rates, with many from consumer-focused companies. In 2018, Pfizer and Merck named their first CDOs, following similar moves from Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline the year before. So why new CDOs, and why “outsiders," when traditional chief information officers have handled the tech end for decades? FiercePharmaMarketing
> Sanofi has picked its new Massachusetts headquarters, squarely in the Cambridge Kendall Square neighborhood that's become biotech's East Coast epicenter. A short walk from Sanofi Genzyme's current location, the move will bring 2,700 employees from around the state to two buildings on the new site. FiercePharma
> Teva will relocate its global headquarters to Tel Aviv from Petah Tikvah, Israel, in mid-2020, amid a $3 billion cost-cutting drive and the concurrent move of its U.S. offices from New York and Washington, D.C., to New Jersey. FiercePharma
> Ambys Medicines has named Jeff Jonker as president and CEO. The regenerative medicine company's interim CEO, Jeffrey Tong, will become chairman. Jonker previously served as president of NGM Bio, helping to lead its liver and metabolic disease pipeline. Before that, he was a senior VP of corporate and business development at Theravance Biopharma. Release
> GN Store Nord named Jakob Gudbrand as CEO of GN Hearing, effective Feb. 18. Gudbrand, previously president of chromatography and mass spectrometry at Thermo Fisher Scientific, replaces Anders Hedegaard, who resigned in October. Release
> Semma Therapeutics appointed David Lebwohl, M.D., as chief medical officer; David DiGiusto, Ph.D., as chief technology officer; and Ann Darda as head of human resources. Lebwohl joins Semma from Novartis, where he was senior VP and global head of the big pharma's CAR-T and Kymriah development teams. DiGiusto joins from Stanford University, while Darda previously served as global head of talent management and organizational development at the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research. Release
> Paris-based Biophytis promoted Jean-Christophe Montigny to chief operating officer, and brought on Daniel Schneiderman as chief financial officer, based in the company’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, office. Montigny previously oversaw Biophytis' finance and legal functions in France, while Schneiderman was VP of finance and controller of MetaStat. Release
> Surface Oncology promoted its VP of finance, Jessica Fees, to senior VP for finance and business operations, with responsibility over the company's finance, IT and facilities functions. Fees will also serve as Surface's principal financial and accounting officer. Release
> Orchard Therapeutics has leased a 150,000-square-foot facility in Fremont, California, to build a manufacturing facility for its gene therapies program, using proceeds from its $225 million IPO. FiercePharmaManufacturing