Voyager Therapeutics CFO Jane Henderson leaves at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After less than a year and a half in the position
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for Henderson
  • Allison Dorval taking over
  • Henderson said 55 words

(exechange) — Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 29, 2018 — This news came the day after Memorial Day. Jane Henderson, finance chief of Voyager Therapeutics, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, Jane Pritchett Henderson, chief financial officer, leaves the clinical-stage gene therapy company after less than a year and a half in the position, effective June 8, 2018.

No company wants a CFO 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 CFOs who departed over the past 12 months was 6.8 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 15 percent of the CFOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within two years, and 30 percent left the position within three years.

Henderson’s duties will be taken over by Allison Dorval, currently vice president of finance of Voyager Therapeutics, Inc.

“To pursue other career opportunities that are closer to home”

Henderson’s imminent departure from the CFO post is explained as follows. Voyager Therapeutics said: “Jane Henderson, Voyager’s chief financial officer and senior vice president of corporate development, has advised the Company of her intent to pursue other career opportunities that are closer to home and plans to leave the company June 8, 2018.”

The phrase “to pursue other career opportunities that are closer to home” opens the door to speculation.

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

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CFO leaves the position at short notice and without an understandable explanation.


Voyager Therapeutics said: “On May 22, 2018, Jane Henderson notified Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. … of her resignation as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development of the Company, effective June 8, 2018.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. since March 2018.

Chaired by Mark Levin

Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. is chaired by Mark Levin.

Mark Levin is the chairman of Voyager’s board of directors and a partner at Third Rock Ventures.

CEO: Steven Paul

Steven Paul serves as CEO of Voyager Therapeutics, Inc.

Steven M. Paul has been the Chief Executive Officer of Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. since September 3, 2014 and has been its President since September 2014.

In the position of CFO since 2017

Jane Pritchett Henderson Henderson has served as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, Corporate Development since January 2017.

Prior to joining the Company, Henderson served as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial and Business Officer of Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., having joined the privately held biopharmaceutical company in February 2013 and leading the sale of Kolltan to Celldex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in November 2016.

Previously, from June 2010 to June 2012, Henderson served as Vice President, Business Development of ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly traded pharmaceutical company, when ISTA Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Bausch + Lomb.

Prior to ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Henderson served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Business Development at Axerion Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, and as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer of Panacos Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company.

In addition to her industry experience, Henderson’s extensive healthcare investment banking experience over more than 19 years includes the execution of more than 95 mergers and acquisitions, advisory and financing deals as Managing Director and other senior roles at financial institutions HSBC Holdings plc, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Lehman Brothers and Salomon Brothers.

Henderson has served on the boards of directors of Eleven Biotherapeutics, Inc. since October 2013 and Ophthotech Corp., a biopharmaceutical company, since January 2018.

Henderson received a B.S. in Psychology from Duke University.

Henderson has agreed to provide consulting services on an as needed basis to the Company through August 8, 2018 to assist with the transition of her responsibilities.

At the time of Henderson’s appointment as chief financial officer at Voyager Therapeutics, Steven Paul, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Voyager Therapeutics, had said: “I am very pleased to welcome Jane to the Voyager team. Jane’s unique combination of extensive investment banking experience combined with her extensive corporate biopharmaceutical management and board experience at several very innovative biopharmaceutical and life science companies make her an ideal fit for the CFO role here at Voyager.”

At the time of her appointment as chief financial officer at Voyager Therapeutics, Henderson had said: “Voyager has an excellent scientific foundation, world class researchers and clinicians, a stellar leadership team and Board.  This strong foundation combined with the company’s recent positive interim Phase 1b data from its lead program VY-AADC01 for advanced Parkinson’s disease and the opportunity to join a company that has the potential to alter the course of treating devastating CNS diseases is highly attractive. I am thrilled to join the Voyager team and meaningfully contribute to the growth of the company by helping to bring the company’s deep and rapidly progressing pipeline of innovative gene therapy programs to patients.”

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Jane Henderson’s imminent 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 23.2018 ($).