In a swift split, Pfizer's Schulman leaves before starting new job as vaccines head

Chutes and Ladders

Welcome to this week's Chutes and Ladders, our roundup of hirings and firings throughout the industry. Please send the good word--or the bad--from your shop to Michael Gibney (email | Twitter) or Emily Mullin (email | Twitter) and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

In swift split, Pfizer's Schulman leaves before starting new job as vaccines head 

Pfizer's ($PFE) general counsel Amy Schulman was set to take on a new role Jan. 1 as head of a new division that combined the vaccine, cancer and consumer products businesses when the company suddenly announced her departure on Tuesday. It's unclear at this point what the kerfuffle was that brought about the swift split--or if there was one at all. Pfizer's statement says Schulman stepped down "by mutual agreement" but is light on details. Under the agreement with Pfizer, Schulman is relinquishing her role as general counsel and executive team member but will stay with the company for a "transition period." More | Release

In an abrupt move, general counsel Amy Schulman is leaving the company. 

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Former R&D exec at Genentech is the new CEO of the Gates Foundation.


Susan Desmond-Hellmann, former R&D chief at Genentech, has been tapped as the new CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For the past four years, Desmond-Hellmann has served as the chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco. Story

InVivo Therapeutics appointed Steven McAllister as the company's interim chief financial officer to replace Gregory Perry, who will leave Dec. 30. Release

Halozyme Therapeutics ($HALO) brought on Helen Torley to be the company's president and chief executive officer beginning Jan. 6. Most recently, Torley was executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Amgen's ($AMGN) Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Release

Linda Richardson joined Chimerix ($CMRX) as the company's chief commercial officer. Previously, she was vice president and head of the lixisenatide franchise at Sanofi ($SNY). Release

Radius Health appointed Robert Ward as president and chief executive officer. He previously served as the head of strategy, alliances and new opportunities at AstraZeneca ($AZN). Release

> Dr. Jean Viallet will leave Cleveland BioLabs ($CBLI) to take on a role in oncology global research at Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY). Release

Amarin ($AMRN) tapped current president John Thero to also be the company's CEO. Release

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation bumped Walter Capone from chief operating officer to president of the organization. Release

Versartis appointed Joshua Brumm as the company's chief financial officer. Release

Theo Melas-Kyriazi, CFO of Levitronix Technologies and a director of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International ($VRX), has joined Moderna Therapeutics' board of directors. Release

To support the planned launch of its pain drug Zohydro, Zogenix ($ZGNX) has made several new appointments: Dr. Bradley Galer was named executive vice president and chief medical officer; Arnold Gammaitoni assumes the role of vice president of medical and scientific affairs; and Marsha Stanton will be executive director of medical affairs. Release

Azure Biotech has hired Ralph Makar as the New York startup's new CEO. Release

Van Andel Institute, headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, has appointed Peter A. Jones as director of research and chief scientific officer. Jones was the director of the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center from 1993 to 2011 and president of the American Association for Cancer Research in 2005 and 2006. Release

Ronald Jubin has joined Prolong Pharmaceuticals as managing director of research and development. Previously, Jubin served in key roles at Schering-Plough Research Institute and PBL Biomedical Labs. Release

The Madison, WI-based member organization BioForward has elected 8 new board members. Release

Medical Devices

Fred Strohmeier, vice president and general manager of life science products and solutions at Agilent Technologies ($A), has been named senior vice president of Agilent and president of Agilent's Life Sciences and Diagnostics Group. Release


Surpass has appointed Tim Pelura as president and CEO. In his most recent position he served as president of BioEntrep, a life sciences consulting firm. Release

Hiromi Wakita has joined INC Research as general manager and clinical director. The company has also brought on Hiroshi Uoji as regulatory and safety director for Japan and Shinichi Sato as project director of CNS clinical development in Japan. Release