Valeant CEO Mike Pearson out as embattled drugmaker seeks new leadership

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.

Valeant CEO Mike Pearson out as embattled drugmaker seeks new leadership

CEO J. Michael Pearson will leave the company.

Following a tumultuous year that featured a number of high-profile slip-ups at Canadian drugmaker Valeant ($VRX), the company has finally decided to part ways with CEO J. Michael Pearson, clearing room for a new executive who will seek to turn fortunes at the embattled drugmaker. As part of the move, one-time Valeant enthusiast and activist investor Bill Ackman will take a seat on the company's board. While Pearson was out on medical leave earlier this year, the company compiled a short list of candidates for potential replacements that included ex-Sanofi ($SNY) CEO Chris Viehbacher and former Schering-Plough CEO Fred Hassan. The company's next chief will have to deal with investigations from Congress and the SEC, an internal probe over Philidor accounting missteps, a price hike controversy and the fact that some payers have frozen out Valeant meds as a result. On top of all that, debtors are reportedly preparing to press Valeant with tough new agreements since the company's back is against the wall. Story

Intrexon rejigs management, leaving COO Krish Krishnan without a job

COO Krish Krishnan will leave the company.

As part of a realignment of responsibilities, Krish Krishnan, COO at Intrexon ($XON), has exited the company, along with Suma Krishnan, SVP of product development. Virginia-based Intrexon said the move was a result of "successful growth of the company," while the moves will allow it to "intensify its focus on commercializing its mature technologies in anticipation of a number of critical developmental milestones." In its release, Intrexon pointed to a recent success in a WHO nod for OX513A--developed by Intrexon subsidiary Oxitec--as a potential tool in the Zika battle. Joel Liffman, senior vice president of finance, will assume the roles, though some duties will be split up among other execs. Release

PTC Therapeutics will cull its ranks after the FDA spurned its Duchenne drug. Story


> GenSpera CEO and CFO Craig Dionne has resigned. Release

> Huya Bioscience appointed John Ratliff as CEO and president. Release

> Mirati Therapeutics ($MRTX) promoted VP of Finance Jamie Donadio to senior vice president and chief financial officer. Release

> Tunitas Therapeutics named David King as senior vice president of research. Release

> Mark Booth joined Probiodrug as chief business officer. Release

Micreos named Dr. Johan Frieling its chief medical officer. Release

> Calimmune appointed Mark Smith as chief financial officer. Release

> Caldera Health named Robert Mitchell as CEO. Release

> Peter Bains joined Sosei as its COO and CEO-elect. Release

> ContraFect CEO Julia Gregory is stepping down, to be replaced by interim chief executive officer Steven Gilman. Release

> Autolus appointed Dr. Vijay Peddareddigari as its chief medical officer. Release

> Tokai Pharmaceuticals brought on Kelly Lindert as its executive vice president and head of development. Release

Med Tech

> Halt Medical named Kim Bridges as CEO. Release

> GI Dynamics named Scott Schorer as president and CEO. Release

Animal Health

Bayer appointed Joyce Lee to lead its North American animal health business. Release