Seres CEO Roger Pomerantz leaves post abruptly

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about five years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Pomerantz
  • Eric Shaff taking over
  • Pomerantz will remain as Chairman at Seres
  • Pomerantz kept it short and said 59 words

(exechange) — Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 15, 2019 — Roger Pomerantz, chief executive of Seres, leaves the position. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Seres Therapeutics Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, Roger J. Pomerantz has left his post as Chief Executive Officer at the microbiome therapeutics platform company after about five years in the role, effective January 14, 2019.

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 8.5 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Roger Pomerantz’s duties were taken over by Eric D. Shaff, most recently Chief Operating and Financial Officer of Seres Therapeutics, Inc.

Shaff has also joined Seres’ Board of Directors and will continue to serve as Seres’ principal financial officer on an interim basis.

No reason given

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

Pomerantz will remain as Chairman at Seres

“Dr. Pomerantz will continue as Chairman of Seres’ Board of Directors,” Seres said.

Wake-up call

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

“Resignation”

Seres said: “Mr. Shaff, who is currently Chief Operating and Financial Officer, succeeds Roger J. Pomerantz, M.D.”

Seres further said: “On January 14, 2019, Roger J. Pomerantz, M.D. notified Seres Therapeutics, Inc. … of his resignation from his position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company effective immediately.”

Share price decline

The management change announcement follows a decline in Seres Therapeutics, Inc.’s share price of 82 percent since July 2016.

In the position of CEO since 2014

Roger J. Pomerantz, M.D. has served as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer since June 2014 and as Chairman of the Company’s board of directors since November 2013.

Since July 2014, Pomerantz has been a Senior Partner at Flagship Pioneering, formerly known as Flagship Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm.

From January 2011 to September 2013, Pomerantz was Worldwide Head of Licensing and Acquisitions and Senior Vice President at Merck & Co., Inc., (“Merck”), a pharmaceutical company, where he oversaw licensing and acquisitions for Merck Research Laboratories, the research and development division of Merck.

From February 2010 to February 2013, Pomerantz served as Global Head of Infectious Diseases and Senior Vice President at Merck, where he oversaw pharmaceutical development and discovery of antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitic agents.

Prior to Merck, Pomerantz was Global Head of Infectious Diseases for the pharmaceutical division of Johnson & Johnson, Inc. (“Johnson & Johnson”), a multinational medical device, consumer goods and pharmaceutical corporation, where he was responsible for anti-infective agents worldwide.

He joined Johnson & Johnson in August 2005 as President of Tibotec Pharmaceuticals, Inc., now Janssen Therapeutics and a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson a pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of infectious diseases.

Pomerantz has led the development of ten approved infectious disease drugs for diseases including HIV, HCV and tuberculosis.

He has served on the board of directors of ContraFect Corporation, a biotech company, since 2014.

Pomerantz received his B.A. in Biochemistry from The Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

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 Seres and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 3.2019 ($).