Ex-Sanofi exec Whitaker takes the reins at Synta

Chutes and Ladders

Welcome to this week's Chutes and Ladders, our roundup of hirings and retirings 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.

Ex-Sanofi exec Whitaker takes the reins at Synta

Anne Whitaker joined Synta Pharmaceuticals ($SNTA) just a week after her high-profile departure from Sanofi ($SNY). Synta had a swift resignation of its own months ago when co-founder Safi Bahcall headed for the door. In a statement, Whitaker showed particular enthusiasm for Synta's lead candidate ganetespib, despite results earlier this year showing the lung cancer drug was less effective than analysts had expected. At Sanofi, Whitaker successfully diversified the company's suite of products and, according to Sanofi executive vice president for global operations Peter Guenter, "played a central role in the transformation of our North American pharmaceutical business during a time of significant market evolution," as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Release

Anne Whitaker joined as the company's new CEO.


Temecula, CA-based FFF Enterprises has announced the appointment of Brad Cooper to the position of chief financial officer. Release

Akers Biosciences ($AKERS) has announced the appointment of Nicolas Daurel as vice president of international sales and marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Release

Newark, CA-based Depomed has announced the appointment of R. Scott Shively as chief commercial officer and senior vice president. Release

Boston-based Intarcia Therapeutics has announced the appointment of Sunita Zalani as vice president and global head of regulatory affairs and quality. Release

DNAnexus has announced the expansion of its senior leadership team with the appointment of Dr. David Shaywitz as the company's first chief medical officer. Release

Scott Carmer, formerly of AstraZeneca ($AZN), joined Orgenesis as CEO of its North American subsidiary. Release

Theravance ($THRX) appointed Michael Aguiar as its president and CEO. Release

BioSpecifics Technologies appointed Max Link to its board of directors. Release

Bio-Techne named Brenda Furlow its senior vice president and general counsel. Release

Hing Sham and Uma Sinha joined Global Blood Therapeutics as senior vice president of chemistry and chief scientific officer, respectively. Release

RestorGenex appointed Mark Weinberg as its senior vice president of clinical development. Release

Jeff Huber, a senior vice president at Google ($GOOG), joined Illumina's ($ILMN) board of directors. Release

> MolecularHealth has appointed Dr. Fadi Braiteh to its advisory board. Release

> Alex Blanchard has joined Reading Scientific Services as senior group leader of microscopy. Release

> Anavex Life Sciences ($AVXL) has appointed Tasos Zografidis as vice president, clinical operations. Release

> Cardinal Health ($CAH) has appointed Gregory Kenny as lead director and chair of its Nominating and Governance Committee, David King as chair of its Human Resources and Compensation Committee, and Clayton Jones as chair of its Audit Committee. Release

> Cortendo ($CORT) has appointed Matthew Pauls as president and CEO. Release


> OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals ($OGXI) has appointed John Bencich as vice president and chief financial officer. Release


> PaxVax has appointed Jonathan Klock as vice president of sales and marketing, North America, and Jeremy Gowler as vice president of global marketing. Release