AstraZeneca welcomes Soriot as new CEO; O'Day and Diggelmann move up within Roche

Welcome to this week's roundup of hirings and firings throughout the industry. Please send the good word (or the bad) from your shop to Alison Bryant (email | Twitter) and Nesa Nourmohammadi (email | Twitter) and we will feature it here each Friday.

AstraZeneca brings on a new CEO from Roche

The big news of the week is AstraZeneca's ($AZN) decision to recruit Roche ($RHHBY) Chief Operating Officer Pascal Soriot as its new chief executive officer. Soriot will take on his new responsibilities starting Oct. 1, and Simon Lowth will remain interim CEO until that point. Soriot brings to the table experience as COO of a successful pharma company where he worked since 2010. Prior to that, he served as CEO of the industry-leading biotech operation, Genentech. "No one is blind to the challenges that confront the pharmaceutical sector and this company, but the underlying strengths of AstraZeneca in delivering on its strategy are clear," Soriot said. "AstraZeneca will continue to make a positive difference to patients over the longer term and I'm looking forward to playing my part in shaping that future." Story | Release

 Pascal Soriot--AstraZeneca
Joins AstraZeneca as its new CEO effective Oct. 1. Soriot currently serves as COO of Roche

Daniel O'Day--Roche
Promoted to COO of Roche Pharma, after serving the same role with Roche Diagnostics

Roland Diggelmann--Roche Diagnostics
Promoted to COO of Roche Diagnostics, succeeding Daniel O'Day


> Interleukin Genetics announced that Lewis Bender resigned as CEO and as a member of the board of directors. Kenneth Kornman, the company's founder, president and chief scientific officer, will replace Bender in both of Bender's positions in the interim. Release

> Polynoma appointed Sara Zaknoen as chief medical officer, Andrew Buckland as chief financial officer, and Patrick Mallon as COO. Release 

> Virolab Chairman Ricardo Rosales will take over as president and CEO, replacing James A.D. Smith. Smith resigned Aug. 5 for personal reasons. CFO Matthew Loar left Aug. 13. Story

Aragon Pharmaceuticals appointed Faheem Hasnain as an independent director of its board of directors. Hasnain will join Aragon from San Diego biotech Receptos, where he serves as president and CEO. Release

INC Research welcomed Neil Ferguson to the role of executive vice president of business development. According to the CRO, Ferguson has spent more than 25 years in the biopharma business, which includes management stints at Quintiles. Release

Edge Therapeutics appointed Robert Langer as chair of its Scientific Advisory Committee. Release

French biotech NicOx appointed three employees to its U.S. commercial team: Jason Menzo (director of marketing), Mark Puwal (national director of sales) and Jason Werner (director of commercial development and strategic alliances). Release

Comings and goings have shook up EpiCept's board of directors. A. Collier Smyth, Gerhard Waldheim and Wayne Yetter resigned from their posts, while Robert Cook joined the board. In a release, EpiCept ($EPCT) maintains that the departures had nothing to do with any disagreement with management. Release

CRO ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services welcomed Stephen Kasay to the role of chief information officer. Release


> Daniel O'Day, currently COO of Roche Diagnostics, will serve as COO of Roche Pharma come Sept. 1. More

Medical Devices

> Roland Diggelmann, head of the Asia-Pacific region with Roche Diagnostics, will serve as COO in the wake of Daniel O'Day's promotion. More

> William Moore will serve as interim president and CEO at Iridex, replacing Dominik Beck, whose employment with the company ceased Aug. 24. James Mackaness will assume COO responsibilities. Release

> As part of a reorganization over at St. Jude Medical ($STJ), three executive officers have been named: Donald Zurbay is now vice president of finance and CFO; Rachel Ellingson has been named vice president of corporate relations; and Kathleen Chester has been named to a newly created role of vice president of global regulatory. Release