CohBar CEO Simon Allen leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After less than three years in the position
  • Thanks for Allen
  • Philippe Calais taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Menlo Park, California, December 10, 2018 — Simon Allen, chief executive of CohBar, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by CohBar Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, December 10, 2018, Simon J. Allen, Chief Executive Officer, has left the clinical stage biotechnology company after less than three years in the role, effective December 6, 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 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.

CohBar will undertake a search for a successor.

Simon Allen’s duties were taken over in the interim by Philippe P. Calais, most recently Chief Executive Officer of Isarna Therapeutics B.V., as interim Chief Executive Officer.

Already a director

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

No reason given

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

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

Wake-up call

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


CohBar said: “On December 6, 2018 (the “Termination Date”), the Company terminated the employment of Simon Allen, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in CohBar, Inc.’s share price of 66 percent since June 2018.

Chaired by Albion J. Fitzgerald

CohBar, Inc. is chaired by Albion J. Fitzgerald.

Albion J. Fitzgerald has served as a member of the Company’s board of directors since May 2014 and was appointed as chairman in July 2014.

In the position of CEO since 2016

Simon Allen joined the Company as chief executive officer in March 2016.

Prior to joining the Company, Allen was a consultant to Solstice Biologics, a biotechnology company focused on nucleic acid therapeutics.

From March 2011 to January 2015, Allen served as the Chief Business Officer at Ambrx, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company, and was an advisor and consultant to that company from September 2010 to February 2011.

From April 2008 to June 2010, he served in a variety of senior positions at Kalypsys, Inc., culminating in his role as Chief Executive Officer.

Allen previously served as the Chief Commercial Officer of CovX from 2006 to 2008 and as the Vice President, Business and Corporate Development, of Nuvelo Inc. from 2004 to 2006.

He previously held business development and analyst roles at SkyePharma PLC, Corixa Corporation (formerly Coulter Pharmaceuticals) and Burdett, Buckeridge and Young.

Allen graduated from the University of Sydney with a B.S. in Biochemistry, Microbiology and Genetics and earned his M.B.A. from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Push-out Score determined

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 51.2018 ($).