Merck KGaA taps Stefan Oschmann to lead company's next chapter

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 Eric Sagonowsky (email) or Amirah Al Idrus (email | Twitter), and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Merck KGaA taps Stefan Oschmann to lead company's next chapter

Merck KGaA
Stephan Oschmann was named CEO-to-be.

After cutting costs and reorganizing last month, Merck KGaA selected Stefan Oschmann to serve as its next CEO, effective upon current CEO Karl-Ludwig Kley's retirement in April 2016. The 58-year-old CEO-to-be, now serving as deputy CEO and deputy board chairman, has served on Merck KGaA's executive board since 2011; prior to that, he worked at Merck & Co. ($MRK), the German Merck's U.S. rival, for more than 20 years. Accompanying the appointment this week was the news that the company would launch a new brand identity. Story

Sales exec Tony Kingsley out at Biogen

EVP Tony Kingsley left the company.

Biogen's ($BIIB) top commercial exec, EVP Tony Kingsley, abruptly left the company late last week, raising questions about sales and concerning investors as the company is set to report third-quarter earnings next week. In their analysis of the situation, Evercore ISI Group's Mark Schoenebaum and RBC Capital Markets' Michael Yee said the company is likely looking to start fresh in the position with a new executive. "In fact, bulls argue that this could be an incremental long-term positive to obtain new commercial leadership and energy," Yee wrote. Kingsley will be replaced on an interim basis by operations chief John Cox. Story

Moderna R&D head Joseph Bolen quietly steps aside

Moderna Therapeutics
R&D head Joseph Bolen stepped down.

Moderna Therapeutics R&D head Joseph Bolen quietly exited the company this week after two years in the position, leaving a well-funded and scrutinized biotech with big ambitions. News of Bolen's departure came in the form of a status change on his LinkedIn page; Moderna, for its part, removed any mention of him from its management page. In confirming Bolen's departure, CEO Stéphane Bancel said company president Dr. Stephen Hoge is now at the helm of the pipeline, with CMO Dr. Tal Zaks in charge of development. Story

Paul Biondi named SVP, business development head at BMS

Bristol-Myers Squibb
Paul Biondi
was named SVP, head of business development.

Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) appointed Paul Biondi as senior vice president, head of business development, a role in which he'll work to develop strategic partnerships and "pursue scientific innovations across commercial, development, discovery and technology platforms to complement the company's internal R&D pipeline." Biondi joined BMS in 2002 and was appointed VP of R&D operations in 2005 and SVP of R&D operations in 2010. In his new position, he'll report to company CFO Charlie Bancroft. Release

Westphal's Verastem slashed 20 staffers in the wake of a clinical trial flop. Story

Valeant's Bausch + Lomb plant is getting $150M in investments and up to 200 jobs. Story

Allergan is plotting 117 job cuts in the wake of its Kythera buyout. Story


Hovione appointed Kristine Senft as its vice president of sales and marketing. Release

Heron Therapeutics ($HRTX) hired Dr. Neil Clendeninn as its senior vice president and chief medical officer. Release

Andrew Macintyre joined ABL as its director of immunobiology. Release

David Blakey will be the new chief scientific officer at MiNA Therapeutics. Release

Regen BioPharma appointed Harry Lander as its president. Release

Biomunex brought on Eugene Zhukovsky as its CSO. Release

Fate Therapeutics ($FATE) CEO Christian Weyer is stepping down effective Nov. 30, 2015. He will be replaced by Scott Wolchko. Release

> Ovid Therapeutics named Dr. Anna Kazanchyan as senior vice president of business development. Release

> Accuray ($ARAY) appointed Kelly Londy as chief operating officer. Release

> Biothera named Dr. Jose Iglesias as chief medical officer. Release

> Jzaneen Lalani joined CureMark as chief operating officer. Release

> Duane Portwood will join Akorn ($AKRX) as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective Oct. 30. Release

> Nabriva Therapeutics ($NBRV) hired Will Sargent as vice president of commercial strategy and investor relations. Release

> Viamet appointed Dr. Oren Cohen as chief medical officer. Release

> Remedy Pharma named Richard Steinhart as chief financial officer. Release

Medical Devices

> IlluminOss appointed Manny Avila as CEO. Release