Arsanis CEO René Russo leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After less than three years in the position
  • Thanks and good wishes for Russo
  • Mike Gray taking over

(exechange) — Cambridge, Massachusetts/Waltham, Massachusetts/Vienna, Austria, November 27, 2018 — René Russo, chief executive of Arsanis, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Arsanis Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, René Russo has left her post as Chief Executive Officer at the clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company after less than three years in the role, effective November 26, 2018.

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 22 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within three years.

René Russo’s duties will be taken over by Michael P. (Mike) Gray, currently Chief Financial Officer of Arsanis, Inc.

Gray will also continue to serve as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer.

“To pursue other opportunities”

René Russo’s sudden departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Arsanis said: “Mr. Gray succeeds René Russo, PharmD who has resigned as president and chief executive officer to pursue other opportunities.”

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

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

“Stepping down/resigned”

Arsanis said: “On November 27, 2018, Arsanis announced that René Russo, PharmD, BCPS, the President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of Arsanis, is stepping down from the Company, effective as of November 26, 2018.”

Arsanis further said: “Mr. Gray succeeds René Russo, PharmD who has resigned as president and chief executive officer to pursue other opportunities.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in Arsanis, Inc.’s share price of 96 percent since March 2018.

Chaired by Tillman U. Gerngross

Arsanis, Inc. is chaired by Tillman U. Gerngross.

In the position of CEO since 2016

Russo has served as a member of the Company’s board of directors and as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer since April 2016.

Russo served as the Company’s Chief Development Officer from July 2015 until April 2016.

Previously, Russo served in various roles over an 11-year period at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a public pharmaceutical development company, focused on the development and commercialization of infectious disease therapeutics, from 2003 until its acquisition by Merck in May 2015, most recently as its Vice President, Global Medical Affairs.

From 1999 to 2004, she held roles of increasing responsibility at Bristol-Myers Squibb where she started her industry career as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Industrial Pharmacy Infectious Diseases.

Prior to joining the biotechnology industry, Russo held clinical positions at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Princeton Hospital.

Russo received her Pharm.D. and B.S. from Rutgers University.

Russo will remain a director of Arsanis.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered René Russo’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 49.2018 ($).