Quintiles' founder heads for the exit after 30-plus years as chairman

Dennis Gillings

Quintiles ($Q) founder Dennis Gillings is planning to step down from his role as chairman by the end of the year, endorsing the leadership of CEO Tom Pike and transitioning into a more advisory role at the world's largest CRO.

Gillings, who has gradually sold off millions of his Quintiles shares since the company's 2013 IPO, will remain on the board of directors after his resignation, and the CRO plans to start searching for a new chairman thereafter. Gillings founded the company in 1982, serving as its CEO and gradually building it into a global operation that brings in more than $4 billion in revenue each year.

Pike, who took over in 2012, "has provided outstanding leadership as CEO," Gillings said in a statement, and is the executive Quintiles needs to continue its rapid growth.

"The company is ready on every level, with strong management, a robust growth strategy and effective governance, reflected in this thoughtful Board transition," Gillings said in a statement. "I look forward to my continuing Quintiles board duties and partnership with Tom."

Gillings and a trio of private equity backers grossed more than $400 million in Quintiles' $947 million IPO, and they pulled in another $1 billion in a follow-on offering last year. That transaction put their ownership stake below 50%, allowing Quintiles to shed its "controlled company" status on Wall Street, and now the company must reduce the size of its board from 11 to 9 and recruit 5 independent members.

- read the statement

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