Chutes & Ladders—Teva’s former chairman resigns as ax falls on 14K jobs


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

Teva’s former interim chief Peterburg resigns with huge layoffs to come

Teva Small Logo
Yitzhak Peterburg

Yitzhak Peterburg resigned.

Yitzhak Peterburg, Teva’s former chairman and interim CEO before Kåre Schultz officially took the reins, has left, right before the company announced one of the largest layoff rounds in the biopharma industry. As part of Schultz's sweeping restructuring plan to restore business, the company is looking to cut 14,000 jobs globally, close R&D sites, offices and manufacturing facilities, and re-evaluate R&D programs in both its generics and specialty pharma segments. The goal is to save $3 billion by the end of 2019, but the majority of job cuts will come soon over the next 90 days. Workers' associations are not happy, and a nationwide strike in Israel is underway, but Schultz is undeterred. “These are decisions I don't take lightly but they are necessary to secure Teva's future,” he said. Teva stressed that Peterburg's departure “does not involve any disagreement with the company.”  FiercePharma

OrbiMed founder Isaly steps down after sexual harassment report

Sam Isaly

Founder Sam Isaly stepped down as managing partner.

Sam Isaly, founder of the largest biotech hedge fund, OrbiMed, has stepped down following sexual harassment allegations. STAT reported allegations from five women who claimed that Isaly had “regularly sexually harassed OrbiMed’s female employees.” He exposed female colleagues to pornography in the office, played a prank using a sex toy and verbally abused female employees, STAT reported. Isaly denied the allegations to STAT, but the company later issued a statement announcing his departure “pursuant to years-long succession planning discussions.” The firm’s leadership will be taken over by a management committee composed of Sven Borho, Carl Gordon, and Jonathan Silverstein. FierceBiotech

Grail poaches Roche/Genentech exec to take the helm

Jennifer Cook

Jennifer Cook was appointed CEO.

Grail has found Jennifer Cook to take the helm after Jeff Huber left in August, and interim chief Bill Rastetter will step back to his role of chairman. Cook was recently with Roche/Genentech where she was head of clinical operations. Cook started her career at Genentech in early-stage research and has held several senior management positions at the company spanning the full lifecycle of product development and commercialization. The cancer detection startup is currently conducting two large-scale observational studies. Data from the Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas study is expected in 2018 and will be used to develop models to differentiate between cancer and non-cancer mutations. The STRIVE study that will enroll 120,000 women will evaluate a blood test for the early detection of breast cancer. The company is also building its presence in Asia after recently merged with Hong Kong’s Cirina. FierceMedTech

Renowned breast cancer researcher to join Lilly Oncology

Kimberly Blackwell

Eli Lilly
Kimberly Blackwell, M.D., will become VP of early phase development and immuno-oncology.

Kimberly Blackwell, M.D., currently professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center, co-director of the Duke women's cancer program and senior strategist for the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, will join Lilly Oncology to lead early-phase development. She was crucial in developing non-chemotherapy-based approaches for treating breast cancer. She has led programs that resulted in regulatory approval of four cancer agents, including the first cancer biosimilar in the U.S. Release

> Rubius Therapeutics, a 2017 Fierce 15 winner developing red-cell therapeutics, hired Andrew Oh, recently Leerink Pharmaceutical Investments' chief investment officer and chief operating officer, as its CFO. Release

> Aeterna Zentaris' leadership team still hasn't been stabilized, as recently appointed interim CFO Jeffrey Whitnell departed. Release

> Alison Lawton, formerly COO at Aura Biosciences, joined Kaleido Biosciences as president and COO. Release

> Two-decade GlaxoSmithKline veteran Damien McDevitt, Ph.D., jumped ship to serve as Acadia's SVP of corporate development. Release

> Immunotherapy company Inovio promoted Laurent Humeau, Ph.D., to SVP of R&D. Release

> Flexion Therapeutics lifted medical affairs head Scott Kelley, M.D., to lead all medical operations as CMO; he was Sanofi's VP of global medical affairs before joining Flexion in 2016. Release

> Illumina brought on Aimee Hoyt to lead the company's HR strategies as SVP and chief people officer. Release

> Atlas Genetics, which develops point-of-care diagnostics, named Marc Jones as COO and CFO. Release

> Medical device company Restoration Robotics, which develops a robotic hair restoration system, appointed Mark L. Hair as CFO. Release

> SCORR marketing promoted seven team members, including April Roggasch to CFO. Release