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Celgene bring in new CFO to steady the ship

Published on 04/06/18 at 08:36am

The fact that Celgene is currently sailing through choppy waters is no secret to anyone within the industry, it’s facing serious questions over its pipeline and major worries about its lead candidate, ozanimod.

Behind this drama has been a steadily revolving door of executive exits from the company, as it attempts to display to its shareholders that it is taking a fresh approach to business. It needs to demonstrate this if it is to shore up its share price, which is significantly down from where it stood in October last year ($146 down to $79, at present).

As part of this reboot, David Elkins is being parachuted in from Johnson & Johnson to take over the position of Chief Financial Officer. Making way is Peter Kellogg, who will transition to Chief Corporate Strategy Officer until his retirement in mid-2019.

Elkins has been CFO for Consumer Products, Medical Devices and Corporate Functions at J&J, after having previously worked for 12 years at AstraZeneca, where he worked as CFO for its North American division, and as CFO for Becton Dickinson.

“The addition of David as our new CFO strengthens and expands our leadership team and positions us to capitalize on our significant opportunities through 2020 and beyond,” said Mark J. Alles, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Celgene Corporation. “Our business performance will be further enhanced by Peter’s continued strategic insight and David’s extensive industry experience leading global finance teams.”

Alles has personally tasked himself with turning around the company, having assumed the responsibilities of former COO, Scott Smith, as well as taking of Celgene’s global Haematology and Oncology franchise, global Inflammation and Immunology franchise, manufacturing, regulatory, and clinical development.

Bringing in Elkins could well be part of a move to shore up the entire top level of the company, with more appointments expected.

Ben Hargreaves

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