Chutes & Ladders: Google's Calico snags Daphne Koller from Coursera

chutes and ladders logo

Welcome to this week's Chutes and Ladders, our roundup of hirings, firings and retirings throughout the industry. Please send the good word--or the bad--from your shop to Eric Sagonowsky (email) or Alyssa Huntley (email | Twitter), and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Google's Calico snags Daphne Koller from Coursera


Daphne Koller
will be the chief computing officer

Daphne Koller is slipping away from Coursera to take on the chief computing officer role at Google-owned Calico. Koller will help to boost up Calico's computational biology and machine learning team. Koller cofounded Coursera--an online education site--after her time at Stanford University. Her job at Calico will be to build up a machine learning team that will work to understand aging and help people live longer and healthier lives. While Koller and her team will need to provide Calico with the computing capabilities it feels it needs to understand the biology of aging, the group will certainly benefit from the support of Google, which is diving into machine learning itself. FierceBiotechIT article

Stada CEO Retzlaff waves goodbye


Hartmut Retzlaff 
is resigning from his post

After taking a leave of absence in early June for health reasons, it seems Stada CEO Hartmut Retzlaff will see himself to the door. The longtime CEO will officially resign from his post, though will take with him severance payment and will receive his salary until the end of the year. Retzlaff has been in the CEO chair since 1992, and was credited by company chairman Martin Abend as having set "a clear course." However, Stada's upcoming course may not be so clear, as the company has been at odds with proxy brawler Active Ownership Capital. The two have put up competing board rosters for investors to decide on later this month. FiercePharma article

Cipla CEO Subhanu Saxena to leave the company


Cipla will lose its CEO at the end of the month

Subhanu Saxena will step down as Cipla's CEO at the end of the month. Saxena has been in this position since 2013 and is leaving to handle "family priorities," according to the company. The exec worked with Novartis for 14 years. Umang Vohra will take on the CEO role after Saxena steps down. Vohra joined Cipla last October after working with Dr Reddy's Laboratories. "Having been aware of his personal circumstances, we respect Subhanu's decision to leave Cipla," said Y.K. Hamied, chairman of Cipla. Cipla has been going through a major restructuring which it began last year, with the aim of cutting costs and improving profitability. FiercePharma article

> Pfizer has plans to shut down four of its Hospira distribution centers and will lay off 104 employees in the process. FiercePharmaManufacturing article

> Merck is no longer promoting clot-busting drug Zontivity and now plans to cut loose 148 sales and marketing employees. FiercePharmaMarketing article

> Allergan is taking over a former Pfizer property in Madison, NJ, in an effort to consolidate four of its locations. The move will keep more than a thousand jobs in the state and promises to add 300 more. FiercePharma article


> Sorrento Therapeutics is bringing on former Celgene chief medical officer Jerome Zeldis as CMO and president of clinical development. FierceBiotech article

> Italian drugmaker Recordati announced its CEO and chairman Giovanni Recordati died at age 66. Report

> Wave Life Sciences has appointed Keith Regnante to the chief financial officer role. Release

> Jens Rueter will join The Jackson Laboratory as the medical director for the Maine Cancer Genomics initiative. Release


> Former White House aide to Al Gore Dennis Alpert joins Pfizer as regional director for advocacy and PA in the south. Report

> Anthera Pharmaceuticals has named William Shanahan its new chief medical officer. Release

> Dechra Pharma is bringing on Richard Cotton as chief financial officer. Report

> Akorn brings on Robert Monahan in the SVP of corporate development role. Release

> Russell Olsen will join Derma Sciences as the president of advanced wound care. Release