Chutes & Ladders—Perrigo CEO Hendrickson will retire

Perrigo veteran John Hendrickson is stepping down from his role as CEO after just over 13 months on the job.

Chutes and Ladders

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 Angus Liu (email) and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Perrigo CEO Hendrickson to step down after just over a year on the job

John Hendrickson

John Hendrickson will retire as CEO.

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Picking up Perrigo’s CEO title from Joseph Papa, who left for Valeant in 2016, John Hendrickson has only been on the job for a bit more than 13 months, though he has been with the company for about three decades. But now, he is already planning to retire. The Dublin drugmaker said that it had set up a search committee, and Hendrickson will step down 60 days after a replacement is named. Contrary to Hendrickson’s statement that Perrigo “met the challenges” it faced, some analysts called erosion of Perrigo’s core consumer business “a new structural reality that has and will continue to largely offset new launch growth,” and the retirement is only adding to the uncertainty. Furthermore, after Hendrickson took helm, the company was sued for missing a Mylan takeover, it experienced layoffs (including ex-CFO Judy Brown) and was frequently the target of activist pressure. FiercePharma

Johnson & Johnson poaches Merck exec Mammen to head pharma R&D

Johnson and Johnson SmallLogo
Mathai Mammen

Johnson & Johnson
Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., joined as global head of Janssen R&D.

Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., after a short stint at Merck, will join J&J later this month and will formally become Janssen's global head of R&D on January 1 next year. He is taking over from William Hait, M.D., Ph.D., who is moving to a newly created company-wide R&D role called global head of Johnson & Johnson external innovation. In that role, Hait will be responsible for the company’s JJDC VC wing, JLABS startup incubators and the innovation centers it has set up in Boston, California, London and Shanghai. Mammen is inheriting a pipeline that Hait recently called “one of the most robust and sustainable … in the industry,” as the Big Pharma rolled out plans to launch or file for approval 11 potential blockbusters by 2021. During his time at Merck, Mammen served as SVP, overseeing R&D for cardiovascular, metabolic diseases, immunology and oncology. Prior to that, for more than 16 years, he was in charge of R&D at Theravance, which he co-founded. FierceBiotech | Read more on FiercePharma

Alexion quickly fills executive team vacancies

John Orloff

John Orloff, M.D., becomes R&D chief.

 Alexion shook up its C-suite just a few days ago, bidding farewell to former R&D chief Martin Mackay, short-time CFO Dave Anderson, chief commercial officer Carsten Thiel and HR head Clare Carmichael. And now, the company has quickly found several replacements.

John Orloff, M.D., formerly global head of R&D and CSO at Baxalta (which was also the former home of Alexion’s new CEO Ludwig Hantson and just-appointed CCO Brian Goff), has assumed responsibility for the company’s pipeline as EVP and head of R&D. That responsibility includes the filings of Soliris. 

Orloff came from a short stint at Novelion as head of research, and also used to work for Merck Serono, Novartis and Merck Research Laboratories. Anne-Marie Law, also a former Baxalta executive, became the new HR chief, and Indrani Franchini, formerly with Pfizer, was named chief compliance officer. FierceBiotech | FiercePharma

Bayer expands oncology team with two SVP appointments

Rebecca Jolley

Rebecca Jolley and Scott Fields, M.D., joined as oncology SVPs.

Bayer made two new additions to its oncology management team: Rebecca Jolley was named SVP and commercial head of oncology, and Scott Fields, M.D., was named SVP and pharmaceutical development head of oncology.

Jolley was previously SVP of Americas commercial at Eisai’s oncology business group, and prior to that, she worked at Novartis for more than two decades, mainly in the field of sales and marketing. As for Fields, he used to serve as Vertex’s VP and head of clinical oncology, and he had also worked for SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline), Amgen, Eisai and Arno. Release

> After shifting its focus back to being a clinical-stage biotech, Merrimack tapped former Ariad CMO Sergio Santillana, M.D., as its new CMO. FierceBiotech

> Following the hire of biotech mogul David Hung, M.D., as its CEO, Axovant Sciences made several senior hires: Stephen Mohr joined as general counsel; Eric Floyd, Ph.D., as SVP of regulatory affairs; Thomas Templeman, Ph.D., as SVP of pharmaceutical operations and quality assurance; Mark Wadley as SVP of U.S. business; and Samina Bari as VP of corporate communications. And Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D., shifted to become VP of global medical affairs. Release

> GlaxoSmithKline, Dupont and Bristol-Myers Squibb vet Douglas Manion, M.D., has become the new CEO of Kleo Pharmaceuticals. FierceBiotech

> Steven L. Zelenkofske became uniQure's CMO, succeeding Christian Meyer, M.D., Ph.D. Release

> Flex Pharma's co-founder Christoph Westphal, M.D., Ph.D., is stepping down from his CEO role, and its R&D head William McVicar, Ph.D., is stepping in temporarily. FierceBiotech

> Avitide, which focuses on biopharmaceutical affinity purification solutions, hired Scott Kennedy as CFO and Karol Lacki and Karol Lacki as VP of technology development. Release

> Medherant, a University of Warwick spinout company developing a novel transdermal drug delivery patch technology, announced the appointment of Sheryl Caswell as head of clinical development. Release