Vertex promote chief medical officer to CEO as Jeffrey Leiden steps down

pharmafile | July 25, 2019 | Appointment | Business Services, Manufacturing and Production, Medical Communications, Research and Development, Sales and Marketing  

Dr Reshma Kewalramani has been made the new Vertex CEO.

Vertex’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Kewalramani will succeed current CEO Jeffrey Leiden who has is now stepping aside from the role after seven years as Chief executive at the Boston-based firm. In stepping down Leiden will serve as executive chairman until the first quarter of 2023.     

Fourty-six year old Dr Kewalramani, who has been at Vertex since 2017, will thus become the first woman to head the firm. Prior to joining Vertex, Kewalramani spent more than 12 years at Amgen.

Dr Kewalramani brings to the role a breadth of experience. Before moving into pharma, Dr Kewalramani completed a medical degree at Boston University, before taking on roles as a nephrologist (kidney specialist) at hospitals in the Greater Boston Area. In 2015, she completed a General Management Programme at Harvard Business School.

In an interview with STAT, Kewalramani said: “We really have thought long and hard about who we are now and who we want to be in the future. And I am excited, I am grateful, and I am ready to take our strategy and execute for some time to come.”

Jeffrey Leiden commented: “She’s a physician. She’s a scientist. She has deep industry experience. She actually understands and appreciates the business side of the business, as well as the science side of the business. She’s incredibly articulate and a great communicator, which I think is very, very important. And she’s a great leader.”

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