Major leadership changes at two of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies were announced today.
Daniel O’Day, currently chief executive officer of Roche Pharmaceuticals and member of its corporate executive committee, will be joining Gilead Sciences, Inc. as chairman and CEO starting March 1. His exit from the Roche Pharmaceuticals helm is effective December 31, but he will stay on at Roche through February to ensure a smooth transition of activities. Gregg Alton, who has held a number of executive positions at Gilead over the past 20 years, will assume the position of interim CEO at the company from January 1 until O’Day’s start date.
Meanwhile, William (Bill) Anderson, currently CEO of Roche’s Genentech, will become CEO of Roche Pharmaceuticals, effective January 1. He will be based in Basel, Switzerland, report to Severin Schwan, Roche Group CEO, and become a member of the company’s corporate executive committee.
Anderson joined Roche in 2006 leading the immunology business unit in Genentech and then took responsibility for oncology sales and marketing. In 2013, he was appointed head of global product strategy based in Basel before assuming his current role as CEO of Genentech in 2017. Anderson holds Master of Science degrees in Management and Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
O’Day began his career with Roche Pharmaceuticals in 1987 and held various roles in the United States before moving in 1998 to Basel in global marketing and then lifecycle management. In 2001, he was appointed head of corporate planning for Roche Pharmaceuticals in Japan and subsequently became general manager of Pharma Denmark. He returned to the United States to head up Roche Molecular Diagnostics in 2006 before being appointed to lead the diagnostics division in 2010. He was appointed to lead the pharmaceuticals division in 2012.
As previously announced by Gilead, John C. Martin, Ph.D., current board chairman, will step down from that position, effective March 1, O’Day’s first day of employment. Also as previously announced, John F. Milligan, Ph.D., will step down from his role as president and CEO and member of the Gilead board at the end of 2018.