Celgene’s president and COO Jacqualyn (Jackie) Fouse, Ph.D., “has decided to retire” effective June 30, the company said after the close of trading yesterday—just a year after she was named to the position.
Scott Smith, president of Celgene’s Global Inflammation & Immunology (I&I) Franchise, will succeed Dr. Fouse as of April 1, when she shifts to serving as a strategic advisor to the company’s management team until her retirement.
She will not seek reelection to the Board of Directors, Celgene added.
Dr. Fouse was named president and COO in March 2016 when longtime CEO Bob Hugin became executive chairman. He was succeeded by current CEO Mark Alles, leading to talk at the time that he was chosen for the company’s day-to-day helm over Dr. Fouse.
Celgene’s announcement did not disclose Dr. Fouse’s post-retirement plans, leading to speculation on Twitter. “Either something is really wrong (I hope not) or she's landing plum CEO job,” TheStreet.com’s Adam Feuerstein tweeted yesterday.
“What I hear from the rumor mill is Jackie Foust is taking time off from $CELG and we won't see her take a CEO role in near term. We'll see!” tweeted Matthew Herper of Forbes.
Shares of Celgene slipped nearly 2% in after-hours trading, from yesterday’s closing share price of $119.46 to $117.50 as of 8:17 a.m., before inching up to $117.80 a half-hour later.
The closing price marked a 0.2% increase from Wednesday’s close, fueled by the company winning FDA approval of an additional indication for Revlimid® (lenalidomide), as a maintenance treatment for patients with multiple myeloma following autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (auto-HSCT). The European Commission today approved a similar new indication for Revlimid.
Smith joined Celgene in 2008 and is credited by the company with successfully building and launching its I&I franchise, including the development of its “robust and high-potential” I&I pipeline. A 30-year industry veteran, Smith has held commercial, business strategy, and general management roles in multiple countries and therapeutic areas—including Biovail’s global commercial head, the position he held before joining Celgene.
Smith’s position will be filled by Terrie Curran, who is being promoted from head of Worldwide Commercial Markets for the I&I Franchise, where she is now overseeing the worldwide launch of the psoriatic arthritis and moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis drug Otezla® (apremilast).
Curran joined Celgene in 2013 as U.S. commercial head of the I&I franchise, where Celgene said she established the framework and built the capabilities for Otezla’s successful U.S. launch.
Dr. Fouse joined Celgene in 2010 as CFO, and 4 years later was named president of the company’s Hematology & Oncology franchise. She received her Ph.D. in finance in 2012 from the University of Texas at Arlington.
“Throughout Jackie's nearly 7 years with the Company, Celgene has produced tremendous growth and outstanding results,” Celgene stated, in an announcement that included comments from Alles and Hugin.
“I would like to thank Jackie for her incredible commitment and dedication to Celgene and the patients we seek to serve worldwide,” Alles stated. “On behalf of all Celgene employees, I wish Jackie the best in her retirement.”
Added Hugin: “Celgene has greatly benefited from Jackie's strategic leadership and wisdom. All of us thank Jackie for her countless and meaningful contributions to Celgene.”