Arbutus CEO Mark Murray leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After 11 years in the position
  • Thanks for Murray
  • Bill Collier taking over
  • Murray said 83 words

(exechange) — Warminster, Pennsylvania, June 17, 2019 — Mark Murray, chief executive of Arbutus, leaves. As announced by Arbutus Biopharma Corp. in a news release on Monday, June 17, 2019, Mark J. Murray leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the Hepatitis B Virus therapeutic solutions company after 11 years in the role, effective June 23, 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 7.6 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 28 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left their position after more than 10 years.

Mark Murray’s duties will be taken over by William H. (Bill) Collier, most recently President and General Manager, North America of ViiV Healthcare Limited.

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

“An opportune time for me to retire”

A reason for Mark Murray’s imminent departure from the CEO post was not explicitly provided. Mark Murray said: “With the effective consolidation of Arbutus’s operations and scientific team in Warminster, Pennsylvania, a pipeline focused on a combination therapeutic regimen to cure HBV, and a clear strategic business plan in place, I believe this is an opportune time for me to retire and for Arbutus to move forward under Bill Collier’s leadership.”

Precise information regarding Mark Murray’s future plans was not immediately available.


Arbutus said: “Dr. Murray will continue to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors until his retirement on June 23rd.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Arbutus Biopharma Corporation’s share price of 88 percent since August 2018.

Chaired by Frank Torti

Arbutus Biopharma Corporation is chaired by Frank Torti.

For much of his career, Torti was a partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), a venture capital firm.

In the position of CEO since 2008

Murray and Arbutus Biopharma entered into a consulting agreement on June 13, 2019 whereby Murray will provide transition services from June 24, 2019 to August 23, 2019.

Mark Joseph Murray, Ph.D., has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Arbutus Biopharma Corporation since May 30, 2008.

Murray has served as the Company’s President, Chief Executive Officer and Director since May 2008, when Murray joined the Company in connection with the closing of the business combination between Arbutus and Protiva Biotherapeutics, or Protiva.

In addition, Murray also serves as a Director of Genevant Sciences, Inc.

He previously was the President, CEO and founder of Protiva since its inception.

Murray has over 25 years of experience in the R&D, business development and senior management facets of the biotechnology industry.

Prior to founding Protiva, Murray held senior management positions at ZymoGenetics and Xcyte Therapies.

Since entering the biotechnology industry, Murray has successfully led the development of technologies and therapeutic products, biotechnology companies Protiva, Tekmira and Arbutus, raised hundreds of millions of dollars in capital and executed business development initiatives in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

During his R&D career, Murray worked extensively on three programs that resulted in FDA approved drugs, including the first growth factor protein approved for human use.

Murray obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Oregon Health Sciences University and was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell post-doctoral research fellow for three years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 25.2019 ($).