Chutes & Ladders—Scholefield out as Merck & Co. digital head


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.

Merck & Co.'s touted chief digital officer bolts for Marriott just 2 years into tenure

Merck & Co. 
Jim Scholefield, chief information and digital officer, has stepped down.

Scholefield, Merck's short-lived chief information and digital officer and a former Nike executive, will join Marriott International in the same role, according to Forbes. A Merck spokeswoman said Scholefield departed Merck in December. Dave Williams, Merck's VP of animal health IT, has taken over Scholefield's role in the interim, and a search for a permanent replacement is ongoing. Scholefield, also a board member at Stanley Black & Decker, was brought on by Merck to help boost the company's drug development, IT infrastructure and cybersecurity, joining trendsetters Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer in making the gung-ho digital shift. FiercePharma

Endo replaces CEO, appoints M&A specialist to board in possible push for deals

CEO Paul Campanelli has been replaced by his CFO.

Campanelli has been replaced as president and CEO by CFO Blaise Coleman, a five-year veteran at Endo with prior roles at Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, the company said in a release. Mark Bradley, Endo's senior vice president of corporate development and treasurer, will take Coleman's place. The transition follows Endo's announcement in November that Campanelli would step down in what he called "a balance of a personal life decision and at the same time, looking at the strength of the company" in a third-quarter earnings call with analysts. Endo also announced that it would bring on Mark Barberio, of business and M&A consulting firm Markapital, to its board of directors. Barbiero previously worked as co-CEO and CFO for Mark IV, a global manufacturing firm, Endo said. FiercePharma

Gilead poaches Bristol-Myers oncology executive to lead research biology

Gilead Sciences
Michael Quigley
, Ph.D., will join as head of research biology.

Quigley started at Bristol-Myers Squibb as a bench scientist working to discover new targets in immuno-oncology and then took a stint at Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen before returning to BMS, according to his LinkedIn profile. Most recently, Quigley was a VP and head of the Big Pharma’s Tumor Microenvironment Modulation Thematic Research Center. He was also in charge of Bristol-Myers' Redwood City, California, site. In that role, he oversaw strategy for the company’s oncology discovery portfolio and business development, leading target identification and validation, and preclinical development of large- and small-molecule treatments. As SVP of research biology, Quigley will report to Gilead research chief William Lee, Ph.D., the company said in a statement. FierceBiotech

> Contract research organization Worldwide Clinical Trials has hired Mike Mencer as executive VP and general manager of its early-phase services. Mercer will be focusing on Worldwide’s bioanalysis lab in Austin and the Clinical Pharmacology Unit clinic in San Antonio. This has a focus on early-stage, typically phase 1, trials. FierceBiotech

> After 17 years at Amgen, head of R&D Sean Harper, M.D., reunited with his former colleague from Merck and Amgen, Beth Seidenberg, M.D., in Los Angeles and set up Westlake Village BioPartners with a $320 million fund. FierceBiotech

> Loretta Itri, M.D. will take over as the CMO for Immunomedics. Itri joins from The Medicines Company, where she oversaw global health sciences and medical affairs. Before that, she was chief medical officer and president of pharmaceutical development at Genta, a cancer-focused biotech that went bankrupt in 2012, and spent 11 years at Johnson & Johnson, where, as a senior VP, she ran the medical and regulatory affairs unit and then the worldwide clinical affairs team. FierceBiotech

> San Diego-based Turning Point Therapeutics has appointed Siegfried Reich, Ph.D., as executive VP and CSO, effective March 2. Reich most recently served as senior VP of research and co-founder of Effector Therapeutics. Release

> Norcross, Georgia-based Galectin Therapeutics has named Pol F. Boudes, M.D., to the position of CMO. Boudes was most recently CMO at CymaBay Therapeutics and previously worked as CMO at Amicus Therapeutics. Release

> Cambridge, Massachusetts-based H3 Biomedicine has tapped Antonio Gualberto, M.D., Ph.D., as its CMO. Gualberto most recently served as co-founder and CMO at Kura Oncology and previously held positions at EMD Serono, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Takeda and Pfizer. Release

> U.K.-based Optibrium has appointed Tim Hohm, Ph.D., as director of commercial strategy and business development. Hohm joins Optibrium from Novo Nordisk, where he held a position as senior competitive intelligence manager. Release