BMS reveals its post-Celgene takeover management team

Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced its new-look leadership after the Celgene takeover goes through, and it reveals a mixed bag of new hires, sideways moves, and departures.

The headline news is that Celgene chief executive Mark Alles is heading for the door, and there’s also no room for BMS’ recently-appointed chief scientific officer Thomas Lynch in the combined company’s new two-part R&D structure.

BMS plans to separate its R&D into early- and late-stage divisions, with Celgene’s Rupert Vessey earmarked to lead the former and new recruit Samit Hirawat – formerly head of oncology R&D of Novartis – taking over the latter as BMS’ new chief medical officer.

Lynch will leave the company by 1 October, to “pursue opportunities in healthcare,” according to BMS’ statement on the new appointments.

On the commercial side, Celgene’s chief financial officer David Elkins will take over from BMS’ Charlie Bancroft, who will see out his time at the company before retirement overseeing the integration of the two companies post-merger, while BMS’ Chris Boerner will continue as chief commercial office.

No surprises that BMS’ CEO Giovanni Caforio is retaining the top spot as he implements the $74 billion merger – the largest pharmaceutical acquisition deal since Pfizer bought Warner Lambert in 2000 – that will catapult the combined company not the number two position in the cancer market.

There’s already a lot of scrutiny of the deal, not least because of a revolt by shareholders – now resolved – that raised questions about the profitability of Celgene’s drugs after the merger goes ahead.

Since then, a series of positive developments for Celgene’s biggest product Revlimid (lenalidomide), set to top $10 billion in sales this year, have played down those concerns.

In particular, Celgene has been able to resolve a patent dispute with the generics firm Alvogen preventing it from selling any generics until March 2022, and even then with limits on volume. It’s also picked its first FDA approval for Revlimid in combination with Roche’s blockbuster Rituxan (rituximab) in indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).

“I’m looking forward to working with this Leadership Team as we combine the strengths of BMS and Celgene to enhance the value of our marketed portfolio, deliver six significant new product launches and realise the full potential of our deep and broad pipeline,” said Caforio.

The entire management team post-merger will be as follows:

  • Nadim Ahmed, President, Haematology
  • Charlie Bancroft, Executive Lead for Integration
  • Paul Biondi, Head, Strategy and Business Development
  • Chris Boerner, Ph.D., Executive Vice President & Chief Commercialization Officer
  • Adam Dubow, Chief Compliance Officer
  • Joseph Eid, M.D., Head, Global Medical Affairs
  • John Elicker, Head, Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations
  • David Elkins, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
  • Samit Hirawat, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Global Drug Development
  • Severine Lacourt, Chief of Staff to the Chief Executive Officer
  • Sandra Leung, Executive Vice President & General Counsel
  • Ann Powell, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Lou Schmukler, President, Global Product Development & Supply
  • Rupert Vessey, M.A., B.M., B.Ch., F.R.C.P., D.Phil., President, Research & Early Development
  • Paul von Autenried, Chief Information Officer

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