Dynavax CEO Eddie Gray leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about six years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and words of regret for Gray
  • Search for a successor
  • Gray made a lengthy statement and said 273 words

(exechange) — Berkeley, California, May 23, 2019 — Eddie Gray, chief executive of Dynavax, leaves. As announced by Dynavax Technologies Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, May 23, 2019, Eddie Gray leaves his post as chief executive officer at the biopharmaceutical company after about six years in the role, effective August 1, 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 7.8 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Dynavax will undertake a search for a successor.

“Strategic organizational restructuring”

On May 23, 2019, Dynavax Technologies also announced a strategic organizational restructuring, “to principally align its operations around its vaccine business and significantly curtail further investment in its immuno-oncology business.”

Dynavax also announced a reduction of its workforce by 82 positions, or approximately 37% of U.S.-based personnel. Dynavax expects the restructuring to be completed by year end.

Dynavax further said: “In connection with the foregoing change to the Company’s business, the Company anticipates it will incur approximately $5.5 million of restructuring and retirement costs related to compensation and benefit expenses, exclusive of non-cash stock-based compensation expense. The Company may incur other charges, including contract termination costs, retirement of fixed assets and facility-related costs and will record these expenses in the appropriate period as they are determined. We expect the activity to be complete and the costs incurred and paid by the end of 2019.”

“The optimal time for me to transition from the company”

Eddie Gray’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Gray said: “In addition, given this strategic decision to separate our two businesses, I’ve determined it’s the optimal time for me to transition from the company and so I will retire as CEO and as a Director of Dynavax, as of August 1, 2019.”

Precise information regarding Eddie Gray’s future plans was not immediately available.


Dynavax said: “On May 20, 2019, in connection with the restructuring described above, Eddie Gray, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Company’s Board of Directors …, submitted notice of his retirement from the Company, including the Board, effective August 1, 2019.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Dynavax Technologies Corporation’s share price of 72 percent since October 2017.

Chaired by Arnold L. Oronsky

Dynavax Technologies Corporation is chaired by Arnold L. Oronsky.

Oronsky has been a member of the Company’s Board since November 1996 and became Chairman in February 2006.

In the position of CEO since 2013

Gray joined Dynavax as Chief Executive Officer and was appointed to the Company’s Board in May 2013.

Most recently, Gray served as the President of Pharmaceuticals Europe and a member of the corporate executive team at GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) from 2008 until 2013 and as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Pharmaceuticals UK from 2001 through 2007.

Prior to the formation of GSK, Gray was with SmithKline Beecham from 1988 through 2000 serving in various positions of increasing responsibility, including Vice President and Director of Anti-Infectives Marketing in the U.S., Vice President and Director of the Vaccines Business Unit in the U.S., and Vice President and General Manager of Pharmaceuticals in Canada.

Gray received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Management Studies from the University of London and an MBA from the Cranfield School of Management in the UK.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 21.2019 ($).