COVID-19 vaccine developer Moderna (Nasdaq:MRNA) has named Arpa Garay as its chief commercial officer starting May 31, 2022.
Garay spent more than 15 years at Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK). In February, she was promoted to the post of chief marketing officer for Merck’s human health division. Garay also was a member of the company’s executive committee.
At Moderna, Garay will report directly to CEO Stéphane Bancel.
Garay has won several awards. She was named by Fortune as one of the “Most powerful Women: Next Gen” while Business Insider India and the Philadelphia Business Journal included her in rankings of leaders under 40.
“I am grateful and excited to work with an inspiring team and build a commercial organization to bring the transformative impact of Moderna’s mRNA science to improve lives around the world across many diseases,” Garay said in a news release.
Gray replaces Corinne Le Goff, who joined Moderna as its first chief commercial officer in January 2021 but was removed from the role in December. She stayed on in a consulting role until early February and received severance of nearly $1.1 million, according to SEC filings.
“Our senior leadership determined that notwithstanding Dr. Le Goff’s success in building key commercial capabilities in support of the commercialization of our COVID-19 vaccine, advancing our commercial strategy would require a leader with additional experience in consumer and population health,” the company said in its 2022 proxy statement.
It’s the latest C-suite shake-up at Moderna, where Jorge Gomez will join as CFO on May 9 to replace retiring finance chief David Meline. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tal Zaks is set to leave the company in September.
Merck has also experienced recent executive exits, including that of former CEO Ken Frazier.