Chutes & Ladders—Longtime AbbVie commercial chief Alban announces retirement


                 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 Kyle Blankenship, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

AbbVie lifts insider Stewart to commercial chief as company veteran Alban retires

Chief Commercial Officer Carlos Alban is set to retire.

Alban plans to retire as vice chairman and chief commercial officer at the end of the first quarter of 2021, AbbVie disclosed. Taking his place will be Jeffrey Stewart, currently AbbVie’s head of U.S. commercial operations. Both are longtime AbbVie employees. Alban joined the company 34 years ago, back when it was still part of Abbott, and advanced to the CCO title amid an executive team consolidation in late 2018. At the time, he was named as one of four senior managers reporting directly to CEO Richard Gonzalez. Stewart joined Abbott in 1992 as part of TAP, a former U.S. joint venture Abbott had with Takeda. He was Abbott’s vice president of proprietary pharmaceuticals overseeing the U.S. market—while Alban was the senior VP—when the company spun AbbVie off into a separate pure-pharma play. Fierce Pharma

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Gossamer rehires Hasnain as CEO after midphase flop

Gossamer Bio
Faheem Haisnan
will rejoin Gossamer as CEO.

Hasnain, the former CEO of Receptos, ran Gossamer Bio early in its history before handing off to Sheila Gujrathi in 2018. Gujrathi, who worked with Hasnain at Receptos, took over as CEO in connection with Gossamer Bio’s $230 million series B round and saw the biotech through its IPO. The situation soured late last year, though, when Novartis dumped a rival to Gossamer Bio’s lead drug. Novartis’ decision to walk away from a DP2 antagonist raised doubts about Gossamer Bio’s prospects of succeeding against the same target. Fierce Biotech

From academia to both Mercks, Rossetti joins Flagship for his next act

Flagship Pioneering
Luciano Rossetti 
will join as CMO.

After nearly two decades in academic medicine and almost as long leading R&D teams at Merck KGaA and Merck & Co., Rossetti is jumping over to the venture capital world as Flagship Pioneering’s first chief medical officer. As CMO, Rossetti will shape Flagship’s clinical portfolio. And that’s not all—he will also lead R&D for a new scheme, Pioneering Medicines, which aims to create a pipeline of first-in-category treatments based on the work of its platform companies, but that go beyond the programs those companies are developing in-house. Besides building that pipeline, Rossetti will play a key role in strategic planning and business development. Fierce Biotech

> Pharma and healthcare agency CMI/Compas has promoted Paul Kallukaran as chief analytics and insights officer, one the agency’s 83 promotions in the first half this year. CMI/Compas has also hired 51 people in September alone, bringing its total ranks to about 700. Fierce Pharma

> Philadelphia-based Spark Therapeutics has tapped Michael Retterath as chief strategy officer. Retterath joins Spark from Bain & Company, where he served as a partner in the healthcare practice. Release

> Princeton, New Jersey-based KBP Biosciences has tapped Douglas W. Losordo, M.D., as chief medical officer. Losordo joins from Caladrius Biosciences, where he served as executive VP and global head of R&D and CMO since 2013. 

> Boston-based Ziopharm Oncology has named Raffaele Baffa, M.D., Ph.D., as chief medical officer. Baffa joins from Medisix, where he was head of R&D and CMO. Release

> Inivata has named Alan Schafer, {h.D., as chief technology officer. Schafer previously served as CEO of 14M Genomics. Release

> Boston-based Imara has hired on Lynette Hopkinson as senior VP of regulatory. Hopkinson most recently served as VP and global head of cystic fibrosis regulatory strategy and commercial regulatory affairs at Vertex. Release

> U.K.-based Sensyne Health has appointed Derek Baird as president of North America. Baird joins Sensyne from AVIA, where he served as senior VP of growth. 

> Campbell, California-based Imperative Care has named Matthew Garrett as chief financial officer, succeeding John Buckley. The company also appointed Krisztian Toth as VP of finance. 

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