Insys CEO Saeed Motahari leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After less than two years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Motahari
  • Andrew Long taking over

(exechange) — Phoenix, Arizona, April 15, 2019 — Saeed Motahari, chief executive of Insys, leaves — as “mutually agreed.” It is an abrupt change. As announced by Insys Therapeutics Inc. in a news release on Monday, April 15, 2019, Saeed Motahari leaves his post as chief executive officer at the specialty pharmaceutical company after less than two years in the role, effective immediately.

No company wants a CEO to depart 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 7.8 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 14 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within two years, and 24 percent left the position within three years.

Saeed Motahari’s duties will be taken over by Andrew G. Long, most recently chief financial officer of Insys Therapeutics, Inc.

Saeed Motahari’s move is part of a management shake-up also involving the position of chief scientific officer.

“Now is the right time”

The management change is explained as follows. Steven Meyer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: “We believe that now is the right time to transition leadership and that Andy is an excellent choice to serve as the Company’s CEO.”

Precise information regarding Saeed Motahari’s future plans was not immediately available.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often a wake-up call for investors when a CEO leaves the position abruptly and without comprehensible reasons being given.


Insys said: “Mr. Long succeeds Saeed Motahari, who has mutually agreed with the Insys Board of Directors to resign as President and CEO of the Company.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Insys Therapeutics, Inc.’s share price of 54 percent since October 2018.

Chaired by Steven Meyer

Insys Therapeutics, Inc. is chaired by Steven Meyer.

Steven Meyer has served on the Insys Therapeutics Board of Directors since November 2010 and as its Chairman since January 2017.

In the position of CEO since 2017

Saeed Motahari has been the Chief Executive Officer and President at Insys Therapeutics, Inc. since April 17, 2017.

Saeed Motahari has served as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board since April 2017.

Prior to joining the Company, Motahari served as the chief commercial officer of Purdue Pharma L.P., a pharmaceutical company, from May 2014 to April 2017.

From 2004 to 2014, Motahari worked at Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, pharmaceutical companies, including serving as vice president of US Specialty Brands – New Launches.

Motahari also held P&L responsibility for Specialty Franchises in the Renal, Oncology, Endocrinology, Acute Care, Virology and Neuroscience therapeutic areas.

Motahari has also led various commercial organizations at Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Hoffmann-La Roche in managed care, commercial operations, global analytics and new product development.

Motahari received a BS in Biology and holds a Master’s of Business degree from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.

At the time of Saeed Motahari’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Insys, Steven Meyer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, stated: “We are excited that Saeed, a 20-year veteran of the life sciences industry, has chosen to bring his immense depth of sales and marketing, managed care, and commercial operations experience to Insys.  In particular, after a thorough and deliberate search process, management and the Board of Directors strongly believe that Saeed’s broad background and outstanding leadership skills make him the right individual to advance the Company through this critical stage of our development.  We believe Saeed can execute on the promise of this business including the anticipated commercial launch of Syndros™ and the potential products in our pipeline.”

At the time of his appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Insys, Saeed Motahari said: “I am honored the Company’s Board of Directors has entrusted me with this opportunity.  The Company’s dual product platforms of sublingual sprays and cannabinoids have the potential to address the unmet medical needs of significant populations.  I am particularly impressed by the depth of the pipeline and excited about the possibility of addressing patient needs in critical areas like epilepsy and breakthrough cancer pain. I look forward to working with the Insys management team and Board of Directors to continue the Company’s focus on putting the needs of patients first in everything we do, while ensuring long term value for the Insys stockholders.”

Push-out Score determined

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

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 16.2019 ($).