Unity CEO Keith Leonard leaves his post

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about three and a half years in the position
  • Anirvan Ghosh taking over
  • Leonard will remain as Chairman at Unity
  • Leonard said 66 words

(exechange) — San Francisco, California, March 2, 2020 — Keith Leonard, chief executive of Unity, leaves his position. As announced by Unity Biotechnology Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, March 2, 2020, Keith R. Leonard leaves his post as chief executive officer at the startup biotechnology company after about three and a half years in the role, effective March 30, 2020.

Keith Leonard’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Anirvan Ghosh, most recently Senior Vice President, Head of Research and Early Development of Biogen.

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

“Personal circumstances”

Keith Leonard’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Unity said: “Current Unity CEO, Keith Leonard, will be leaving his operating role due to personal circumstances, but will continue as Chairman of the Board of Directors.”


Unity said: “On February 28, 2020, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Unity Biotechnology, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Unity” or the “Company”), appointed Anirvan Ghosh, Ph.D. as the Company’s new Chief Executive Officer replacing Keith Leonard effective as of March 30, 2020.”

Unity further said: “Mr. Leonard is leaving the position of Chief Executive Officer for personal reasons but will remain as Chairman of the Board of Unity.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Unity Biotechnology Inc.’s share price of 42% since March 2019.

In the position of CEO since 2016

Keith Leonard became CEO of the Company in 2016.

Keith R. Leonard Jr. has served as the Company’s Chairman since January 2016 and the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since October 2016.

Leonard was a co-founder of and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of KYTHERA Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company from August 2005 until its acquisition by Allergan plc, a public pharmaceutical company, in October 2015.

Prior to that, Leonard held roles of increasing responsibility at Amgen Inc., a public biotechnology company, from October 1991 to November 2004, including as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Amgen Europe.

Leonard currently serves on the board of directors of Sanifit Laboratories S.L., a biopharmaceutical company, and Intuitive Surgical, Inc., a public medical device company, and is the Chairman of the board of directors for Sienna Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a public biotechnology company.

He previously served on the boards of directors of Affymax, Inc., a public biotechnology company, Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company, and ARYx Therapeutics, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company.

Leonard was formerly an active duty officer in the United States Navy.

Leonard received a B.S. in Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, a B.A. in History from the University of Maryland, an M.S. in Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 10.2020 ($).