Keryx CEO Greg Madison leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After less than three years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Madison
  • Jodie Morrison taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Boston, Massachusetts, April 30, 2018 — Greg Madison, chief executive of Keryx, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, April 30, 2018, Gregory P. (Greg) Madison has left his post as chief executive officer at the biopharmaceutical company after less than three years in the position, effective April 27, 2018.

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

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 9.8 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 19 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within three years.

Keryx will undertake a search for a successor.

Madison’s duties will be taken over in the interim by Jodie Morrison, a former chief executive officer of Tokai Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Already a director

Morrison is already a director of Keryx. 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, Morrison understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Keryx’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

No reason given

In the announcement, Keryx did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Madison’s sudden move, leaving room for speculation.

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

Alarm signal

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


Keryx said: “Gregory Madison has resigned as president and chief executive officer of the company and his seat on its board of directors, effective immediately.”

Keryx further said: “On April 27, 2018, Gregory P. Madison notified the Board of Directors … of the Company of his resignation as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and as a member of the Board, effective immediately.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. since August 2014.

Chaired by Michael Rogers

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. is chaired by Michael Rogers.

Rogers joined the Board in March 2016 bringing to Keryx more than 25 years of financial leadership in the biotech industry. He is currently chief financial officer of Aerpio Pharmaceuticals Inc.

In the position of CEO since 2015

Gregory P. Madison has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since April 30, 2015, previously serving as its President and Chief Operating Officer.

Madison joined Keryx in February 2014 from AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG), a biopharmaceutical company, where he served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer and in 2013 led the team to significant growth in net revenues. Prior to AMAG, Madison spent 12 years at Genzyme/Sanofi developing extensive commercial and general management expertise as he progressed into roles of increasing responsibilities and leadership, culminating in his most recent role as Vice President and General Manager of the Renal division.

In this role, Madison led a global organization with three marketed products with combined revenues exceeding $1 billion.

Madison’s prior experience in the Renal division included serving as Vice President and General Manager of the U.S. business; Vice President of U.S. sales; and Vice President of U.S. marketing where he led all pre-launch preparation for Renvela®, now the leading phosphate binder in the U.S. market.

During his tenure with Genzyme, Madison also had roles in sales management, training, managed markets and reimbursement.

Prior to joining Genzyme, Madison spent five years at Janssen Pharmaceuticals in sales and sales management roles, and began his career in the pharmaceutical industry in sales with Wyeth-Ayerst.

He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Generally speaking, when a top manager announces to step down with no permanent successor available, it’s a sign that the move was unplanned and too early.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Greg Madison’s sudden move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 19.2018 ($).