Chutes & Ladders: Three key Valeant execs jump ship

Ari Kellen, Anne Whitaker and Robert Rosiello are leaving the embattled Valeant.

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.

A trio of top execs abandon the embattled Valeant

Ari Kellen, Anne Whitaker and Robert Rosiello are leaving.

The ship called Valeant just keeps sinking, and some of its officers do not plan to go down with it. Three key execs, EVPs Ari Kellen and Anne Whitaker, along with former CFO Robert Rosiello, will leave the company in just a few weeks. In an effort to keep them in May, the company respectively shelled out $3.8 million, $1.25 million and $2.8 million equity grants to them to vest over an 18-month period. It seems like the three have chosen their exit time carefully, as they will be able to collect the remaining one-third of $1 million cash bonuses if they stay till year’s end. The changes added to a long list of exec changes as the company is undergoing a price-hiking investigation. Robert Chai-Onn, who was once a member—with Kellen and Rosiello—at the company’s Office of the Chief Executive Officer overseeing operations, was replaced by Christina Ackermann in August; and Scott Hirsch was tapped as SVP of business strategy and communications. And even the company’s current CEO, Joseph Papa, just came on board in April. William Humphries will be EVP of dermatology, effective Jan. 2. FiercePharma | Read more on FiercePharmaMarketing

Genentech promotes Bill Anderson to CEO

Bill Anderson becomes CEO.

Bill Anderson, a 10-year Genentech veteran, has been appointed to replace Ian Clark as the company's CEO. Clark, who will retire first thing next year, has spent 14 years with the Roche’s San Francisco-based unit and oversaw the launch of 15 new drugs. He helped stabilize the company during Roche’s buyout in 2009 when then CEO Art Levinson and product development president Susan Desmond-Hellmann left. Anderson is currently head of North American commercial operations, and prior to that, he was head of global product strategy for Roche Pharma based in Switzerland. Before he joined Genentech in 2006, he held various leadership positions at Biogen, with the nearest one as VP of neurology business unit. One of the key jobs for Anderson is to promote cancer fighter Tecentriq in a three-way battle against Bristol Myers-Squibb’s Opdivo and Merck & Co.’s Keytruda. FiercePharma

Alexion replaces CEO, CFO amid internal Soliris sales probe

David Hallal and Vikas Sinha step down.

Alexion’s internal investigation regarding allegation of a former employee’s fraudulent sales practices with its leading med Soliris is still ongoing, but it is the end of the road for two execs: David Hallal, the company’s CEO has resigned for personal reasons, and CFO Vikas Sinha has left to seek opportunities elsewhere. They will be replaced by former AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan and 11-year Honeywell’s CFO David Anderson, respectively. It is possible that the company’s board of directors have lost faith in the pair, but as the investigation is close to an end, the company’s Audit and Finance Committee still hasn’t uncovered any facts that could affect the company’s financial prospects. Even though the company has held off its Q3 filing to the SEC till about January next year, it is not fretting at it, after all, Soliris enjoyed a year-over-year solid sales growth of 10% that quarter. FiercePharma | Read more on FiercePharma

> Theranos hired medical device industry vet John McChesney as SVP of operations, Tali Mackay as SVP of corporate communications and investor relations, and promoted David Taylor to become general counsel. Release

> Claude Bertrand will leave pharma giant Ipsen as EVP of R&D and CSO. Dr. Alexandre Lebeaut, current SVP of global drug development, will lead the R&D division in the interim. Release

Antibiotics specialist Cempra bid farewell to retiring co-founder and longtime CEO Prabhavathi Fernandes, appointed David Zaccardelli as acting CEO, and promoted David Moore to president and chief commercial officer. Release

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics promoted Anthony Gringeri to replace Andrew Gengos as CEO. Release

> CDMO Recipharm appointed Anders Högdin and Aaron Small to lead the growth of its pharmaceutical development services business in the U.S. and Europe. Release

> BioDelivery Sciences announced that Peter Ginsberg has joined the company as VP of business development with over 25 years of experience. Release

> Molekule Consulting tapped Daniel Pascheles, former VP and head of global competitive intelligence at Merck & Co., as CEO. Release

> Central nervous system disorders expert Neurovance announced the appointment of Brian Goff, formerly president of the hematology division of Baxter Healthcare’s spinoff Baxalta, to the newly created position of COO. Release

> CDMO Almac Group named Prof. Tom Moody as VP of technology development and commercialization within Almac Sciences. Release