Chutes & Ladders—CMO walks out on troubled Immunomedics

Chutes and Ladders
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.

CMO Iannone walks out on troubled Immunomedics


Robert Iannone, M.D., is moving on.

Following a rejection from the FDA, Immunomedics is now losing its research lead. Formerly an AstraZeneca cancer research executive, Iannone joined the company last April to help focus its oncology pipeline, after the troubled biotech saw a potential $2 billion deal fall through with Seattle Genetics—and after the board axed former President and CEO Cynthia Sullivan. According to the company, Iannone “has decided to leave the company to pursue a career opportunity close to his home in Pennsylvania,” after many years of working elsewhere. FierceBiotech

uBiome CEOs take administrative leave following FBI raid


General counsel John Rakow was appointed interim CEO.

Days after an FBI raid of its headquarters, uBiome’s board of directors has moved to replace the company's co-CEOs, founders Jessica Richman and Zac Apte, with its top lawyer for the time being. The board also said a special committee will conduct its own investigation into uBiome's billing practices—joining federal and state scrutiny, as well as inquiries from insurance companies. In a statement, Rakow said the company plans to fully cooperate with authorities and payers. FierceMedTech

Longtime Gilead CFO to retire, leaving new CEO a hole to fill


Gilead Sciences
Financial chief Robin Washington announced plans to retire in March 2020.

After getting a new CEO in Daniel O'Day, Gilead will now kick off another big executive search. Washington has been at Gilead since 2008, and oversees finance, investor relations, facilities, operations and IT. And this week, Google’s parent company Alphabet named her to its board. Washington is the second executive to announce a departure during O'Day's short tenure: oncology leader Alessandro Riva left in March to take the helm of Glenmark's R&D spinoff. If Gilead names a new CFO before March of next year, Washington said she will stay on until the company reports its full 2019 results. FiercePharma

> Merck & Co. has begun a five-year manufacturing restructuring plan that could cost up to $1.2 billion when the dust settles. While drugmaker did not disclose how many jobs or facilities will fall, it said about 55% of the costs are expected to go to severance and separation payouts, while 45% will go to “accelerated depreciation of facilities to be closed or divested.” FiercePharmaManufacturing

> Allergan CEO Brent Saunders will hold on to his chairmanship following a failed activist investor campaign—after 61% of the company's backers voted against a proposal brought by the hedge fund Appaloosa to split the two leadership roles. Allergan said it will instead make the adjustment as part of its next leadership change. FiercePharma

> Following calls from shareholders and the spectacular flop of its Alzheimer's drug last month, Biogen is planning to add three new seats to bring its board of directors up to 14 members. Three nominees will be voted on in June: Catalent CEO John Chiminski, ex-Medtronic CEO William Hawkins and IBM exec Jesus Mantas. FiercePharma

> Arcus Biosciences named ex-AbbVie and Genentech employee William Grossman as chief medical officer as it gears up for readouts from its lead early-phase trials. Grossman joins from Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, which appointed him CMO early last year. FierceBiotech

> The former VP of clinical development at Seattle Genetics, Neil Josephson, has jumped over to Zymeworks to help lead its pipeline as it expands overseas with a new partner, the Chinese biotech BeiGene. FierceBiotech

> Single-cell genomics developer Mission Bio is building out its executive team following a $30 million round and a new deal with LabCorp and Covance. Thermo Fisher Scientific's Nigel Beard joined as senior VP of R&D; Color Genomics' global sales VP Darrin Crisitello was brought on as chief commercial officer; and Marcel Roche was named senior VP of finance and administration, after holding finance VP roles at Achaogen and Guardant Health. FierceMedTech

> Award-winning health and pharma agency creative director Rich Levy joined the independent agency Klick Health as its new chief creative officer, after almost a decade helming the creative efforts at FCB Health. FiercePharmaMarketing

> Amy Pott was named the new head of Sobi North America, replacing Rami Levin. Pott was most recently group VP and U.S. franchise head for internal medicine and oncology at Shire. Release

> CDMO Sterling Pharma Solutions brought on Mathew Minardi to be its president of U.S. operations. The appointment follows Sterling’s acquisition of CiVentiChem’s facility in North Carolina. Release

> Coagulation diagnostic developer Enzyre has appointed Dirk Pollet as CEO. Pollet previously led Multiplicom, later acquired by Agilent Technologies, and was chief business officer of Cellectis. Release