Chutes & Ladders: Teva CEO Vigodman steps down

Teva CEO Erez Vigodman exits, adding to the uncertainty at the struggling drugmaker.

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.

Vigodman makes unexpected exit from struggling Teva as CEO

Erez Vigodman

Erez Vigodman is leaving.

The exec hemorrhage at Teva after its acquisition of Allergan’s generics unit Actavis didn’t end with former generics CEO Siggi Olafsson’s sudden departure last December. Investors’ confidence in the company was seriously shaken at that time, especially when they had not been very receptive of that deal—one that took much longer than expected—from the beginning. Now, to make them more uneasy, Erez Vigodman, the company’s CEO, is stepping down in an abrupt manner, too; not to mention the Israeli pharma just adjusted its 2017 sales guidance downward by more than $1 billion. Chairman Yitzhak Peterburg will act as CEO temporarily as the company searches for a permanent replacement. FiercePharma

J&J’s medical device head to retire

Johnson & Johnson
Gary Pruden

Johnson & Johnson
Gary Pruden will retire.

Gary Pruden, Johnson & Johnson’s worldwide chair of medical devices, is retiring, and the company is entrusting EVP and Group Worldwide Chair Sandra Peterson with the Hospital Medical Device business, starting June 1. That builds on her current responsibilities of overseeing the consumer-facing businesses (including the Consumer Medical Device business), supply chain, IT, and global strategic design. She joined J&J more than four years ago after serving as chairman and CEO at Bayer CropScience AG. Prior to that, she was CEO of Bayer Medical Care. Release

Astellas promotes Friedman to oversee global legal organization

Astellas logo
Linda Friedman

Linda Friedman was named EVP and general counsel.

Linda Friedman, SVP and general counsel for Astellas Americas, has been promoted to EVP and general counsel, overseeing the company’s legal organization worldwide. Friedman has been with the company since 1993, when she joined Fujisawa, which merged with Yamanouchi in 2005 to form Astellas. She has since then been put in legal positions of growing responsibilities. Catherine Levitt, currently VP of legal for Astellas U.S., will succeed Friedman in April 2017 to lead the company’s legal operations of the Americas region. Release

> Startup Chondrial Therapeutics, with a $22.6 million Series A led by VC Deerfield Management, has taken on Deerfield adviser Carole Ben-Maimon as its new president and CEO. FierceBiotech

> Aurinia's board accepted the resignation of Charles Rowland as CEO and appointed founder and chairman Richard M. Glickman as its chairman and CEO, at a time when its lupus candidate has entered the final stage before a filing. Release

> Joseph Gilliam, managing director in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at J.P. Morgan, will join ophthalmic medical technology company Glaukos as CFO and SVP of corporate development. Release

> Opiant Pharmaceuticals, a company developing treatments for substance use, addictive and eating disorders, named Phil Skolnick its CSO. Release

> Pierre Labbé, with more than 15 years of experience leading different companies' financial operations, joined Immunovaccine as CFO. Release

> BERG, a biopharma company focused on using data- and algorithm-driven methods in drug discovery, tapped Titus Plattel as COO. Release

> Stockholm-based Medivir promoted EVP of Strategic Business Development Christine Lind to take over from Niklas Prager as new CEO. Release

> Immuno-oncology company Surface Oncology hired Voyager Therapeutics' former CFO, Jeff Goater, as its CBO. Release

> Promethera Biosciences, a global innovator in cell-based medicines, recently announced three key appointments: Henrik L. Luessen as CBO, Nancy Veulemans as VP of clinical and medical affairs, and Decebal Bora as VP of regulatory affairs. Release

> California biotech 10x Genomics tapped Bradford J. Crutchfield as SVP and chief commercial officer. Release