Axovant CEO David Hung leaves

  • After less than one year in the position
  • Thanks and good wishes for Hung
  • Pavan Cheruvu taking over
  • Hung spoke briefly and said 38 words

(exechange) — Basel, Switzerland, February 12, 2018 — David Hung, chief executive of Axovant, leaves. As announced by Axovant Sciences Ltd. in a news release on Monday, February 12, 2018, David T. Hung leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company after less than one year in the position.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first year.

The exact date of Hung’s departure was not specified in the announcement. Obviously, it was an abrupt change.

Hung’s duties will be taken over by Pavan Cheruvu, most recently member of the executive leadership team of Roivant Sciences.

Axovant has already removed the name of Hung as Chief Executive Officer from the leadership page and lists Cheruvu as Chief Executive Officer.

Hung’s move is part of a management shake-up also involving the position of Chief Operating Officer.

“To pursue other opportunities”

The management change is explained as follows. Axovant said: “Chief Executive Officer David Hung, M.D., has resigned to pursue other opportunities and has also resigned from the Company’s board of directors.”

The phrase “to pursue other opportunities” opens the door to speculation.

Precise information about Hung’s future plans was not immediately available.

Share price decline

The change follows a sharp decline in the share price of Axovant Sciences Ltd. since September 2017.

In the position of CEO since 2017

On April 7, 2017, the Board of Directors of Axovant Sciences Ltd. appointed David T. Hung, M.D. as its Principal Executive Officer, effective as of that date.

Hung was the Chief Executive Officer of the Company’s wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, Axovant Sciences, Inc.

On April 7, 2017, Hung was also appointed to the Board to serve as a Class II Director.

Hung was a co-founder of Medivation, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of its board of directors, from December 2004 until its acquisition by Pfizer Inc. in September 2016.

From 1998 until 2001, Hung was employed by ProDuct Health, Inc., a privately held medical device company, as Chief Scientific Officer and then as President and Chief Executive Officer.

Hung served as a consultant to Cytyc Corporation from 2001 until 2002 to assist with transitional matters related to Cytyc Corporation’s acquisition of ProDuct Health, Inc.

Hung served as a member of the board of directors of Opexa Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from May 2006 to October 2011.

Hung received an M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, and an A.B. in Biology from Harvard College.

Hung will continue to serve as a scientific advisor to the Roivant family of companies.

At the time of Hung’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Axovant, Vivek Ramaswamy, then Chief Executive Officer, had said: “I can think of no one better suited to serve at the helm of Axovant than David Hung. We were not searching for a new CEO at Axovant, but following the acquisition of Medivation I approached David about taking a role with us after the MINDSET study. David decided that he wanted to join us now. I have enjoyed a close professional and personal relationship with David over the last ten years, and I am truly thrilled that Axovant is in capable hands as I transition full-time to my role as CEO of Roivant.”

At the time of his appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Axovant, Hung had said: “I am excited by the opportunity to lead Axovant to become a leader in neurology. Vivek and his team have done an incredible job of building Axovant over the past two years. I am especially excited by the MINDSET study and the opportunity to build a world-leading and highly innovative neurology pipeline over the next decade. While I am proud of my accomplishments at Medivation, I aspire to even greater lasting accomplishments here at Axovant.”

Read the full story in the exechange report 8.2018 ($).