Ironwood CEO Peter Hecht leaves for Cyclerion

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After 21 years in the position
  • Accolades and praise for Hecht
  • Mark Mallon taking over
  • Hecht spoke at length and said 136 words

(exechange) — Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 4, 2019 — Peter Hecht, chief executive of Ironwood, leaves. As announced by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a news release on Friday, January 4, 2019, Peter M. Hecht leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the gastrointestinal (GI) healthcare company after 21 years in the role, effective at the time of Ironwood’s planned separation which is on track to be completed in the first half of 2019.

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 8.8 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 9 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position after more than 20 years.

Peter Hecht’s duties will be taken over by Mark Mallon, most recently executive of AstraZeneca Plc.

The fact that Peter Hecht’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

“Deliver a profitable business”

Mallon said: “The new Ironwood team now has an opportunity to build on this strong foundation to drive further growth and innovation within the GI market and to deliver a profitable business focused on bringing differentiated GI therapies to patients.”

Hecht will be CEO at Cyclerion

Peter Hecht will move to the new Ironwood spinoff company, which will be called Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc.

“Peter Hecht will become CEO and a director of Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. (Cyclerion), the soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) biotechnology business focused on the development of five sGC stimulators targeting the treatment of serious and orphan diseases,” Ironwood said.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s share price of 53 percent since July 2018.

Chaired by Terrance G. McGuire

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is chaired by Terrance G. McGuire.

Terrance G. McGuire has served as a director since 1998 and as chair of the Company’s board since 2015. McGuire was a co-founder and is currently a general partner of Polaris Partners.

In the position of CEO since 1998

Peter Hecht has served as Ironwood’s CEO and a director since co‐founding the company in 1998.

He started Ironwood because he was attracted to “the idea of working with a team of people who challenge, inspire and humble me,” and building an enduring organization dedicated to creating important medicines.

Under his leadership, Ironwood has grown from nine Ph.D. scientists to a commercial biotechnology company.

Prior to founding Ironwood, Hecht was a research fellow at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, an affiliate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of California at Berkeley as well as a B.S. in mathematics and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the likelihood that a manager was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position.

exechange reached out to Ironwood and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 1.2019 ($).