Musical chairs continues in LabCorp's C-suite with Ratliff's abrupt departure

Going forward, Chief Medical Officer Brian Caveney was named president of diagnostics, while Global Chief Supply Chain Officer Mark Schroeder will serve as president of the division’s laboratory operations. (Pixabay)

After three full business days in the position, an abrupt about-face has LabCorp Diagnostics’ CEO John Ratliff heading for the exit.

The move, effective immediately, triggered another quick flurry of top-level personnel appointments following a month of leadership changes among LabCorp corporate, its diagnostics business segment and its Covance drug development arm.

Formerly CEO of Covance himself, Ratliff was named the next CEO of LabCorp Diagnostics in early October, with the switch planned for Nov. 1—the same day set for longtime Merck leader Adam Schechter to become LabCorp’s overarching president and CEO. Paul Kirchgraber, the former head of Covance’s clinical trial testing solutions, was promoted to Covance’s CEO position in Ratliff’s stead.

In a release, LabCorp offered little details for the decision, simply saying that Ratliff “is departing the company to pursue another opportunity.” A company spokesperson told FierceMedTech that he was offered a spot as a top executive at another firm.

“We are grateful to John for his leadership of the Covance business, and we wish him well in his next endeavors,” Schechter said in the statement. Ratliff first joined the company as Covance’s CEO in October 2016 after holding leadership positions at Huya Bioscience and Quintiles.

RELATED: Kirchgraber promoted to Covance CEO as former chief takes the reins at LabCorp Diagnostics

Going forward, LabCorp Chief Medical Officer Brian Caveney was named executive vice president and the new president of diagnostics. In addition, the company tapped its global chief supply chain officer, Mark Schroeder, to serve as an executive VP and president of the diagnostics division’s laboratory operations and supply chain.

“As head of LabCorp’s supply chain and as an integral architect of our LaunchPad process improvement initiatives, I have had the privilege to work in areas that touch every aspect of our labs,” said Schroeder.

Meanwhile, in mid-October, Covance’s clinical development lead left the CRO to head up one of its rivals, Pharm-Olam. The departing Robert Davie will take over for David Grange, who served as Pharm-Olam’s CEO since April 2017.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional comment from LabCorp.