Alder CEO Randy Schatzman leaves abruptly

  • After almost 16 years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Schatzman
  • Paul Cleveland taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor
  • Schatzman spoke at length and said 131 words

(exechange) — Bothell, Washington, March 20, 2018 — Randy Schatzman, chief executive of Alder, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, Randall C. (Randy) Schatzman, Chief Executive Officer, has left the biopharmaceutical company after almost 16 years in the position, effective March 15, 2018.

It is the end of an era.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months was 9.2 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 17 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position after more than 15 years.

Alder will undertake a search for a successor.

Schatzman’s duties were taken over in the interim by Paul B. Cleveland, a former Chief Executive Officer of Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc.

Already a director

Cleveland is already a director of Alder. Often a board member is a last resort, someone who is turned to in desperation when a company cannot find suitable candidates. On the other hand, directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Cleveland understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Alder’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

No reason given

In the announcement, Alder did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Schatzman’s sudden move, opening the door for speculation.

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

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for shareholders when a CEO leaves the post abruptly and without a reasonable explanation.

“Step down/mutual decision”

Alder said: “Mr. Cleveland’s appointment follows the mutual determination by Randall C. Schatzman and the Board that now is the right time for Dr. Schatzman to step down as President, Chief Executive Officer and as a director.”

Alder further said: “On March 15, 2018 (the “Separation Date”), the Board of Directors … of Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. … and Randall C. Schatzman, Ph.D., the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, reached the mutual decision to have Dr. Schatzman step down as President, Chief Executive Officer and as a director of the Company. Dr. Schatzman’s employment and service as a director with the Company ceased on the Separation Date.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. since June 2015.

Chaired by Stephen M. Dow

Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. is chaired by Stephen M. Dow.

Dow has served as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors since April 2005 and as the Company’s chairperson since September 2005.

In the position of CEO since 2002

Randall C. Schatzman co-founded Alder Biopharmaceuticals Inc. in May 2002 and has been its Chief Executive Officer and President since May 2002.

Randall C. Schatzman, Ph.D. Dr. Schatzman has served as the Company’s President, Chief Executive Officer and director since he co-founded the Company, which commenced operations in January 2004.

From 1999 to 2004, Schatzman served as Senior Vice President of Discovery Research at Celltech R&D, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Celltech Group plc, a biopharmaceutical company, where he led a group of scientists responsible for much of the therapeutic antibody pipeline for Celltech.

From 1995 to 1999, Schatzman served as Director of Gene Discovery at Mercator Genetics Inc., a genomics company.

From 1987 to 1995, Schatzman served as Section Leader at Roche Bioscience, previously Syntex Corp., a subsidiary of Roche Holdings Ltd., a biotechnology company, where he helped found the Cancer and Developmental Biology Institute.

Schatzman holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from Emory University and a B.S. in Biochemistry from Purdue University.

Schatzman has agreed to serve as a consultant to the Company for an interim period in order to help ensure a smooth transition.

Read the full story in the exechange report 13.2018 ($).