BioNTech US CEO Hugh O’Dowd leaves

  • After less than four years in the position
  • Merger
  • No successor named

(exechange) — Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 6, 2020 — Hugh O’Dowd, chief executive of BioNTech US, leaves. As announced by BioNTech US Inc. in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, Hugh O’Dowd leaves his post as chief executive officer at the T-cell therapy biotech after less than four years in the role, effective immediately.

BioNTech US did not name a replacement for the position of Chief Executive Officer.


Hugh O’Dowd’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. BioNTech US said: “On May 6, 2020, BioNTech US Inc. (f/k/a Neon Therapeutics, Inc.), a Delaware corporation (the “Company” or “Neon”), completed its previously announced merger (the “Merger”) with BioNTech SE, a Societas Europaea organized and existing under the laws of Germany (“Parent”), and Endor Lights, Inc., a Delaware corporation and a direct, wholly owned subsidiary of Parent (“Merger Sub”), pursuant to the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of January 15, 2020, by and among Parent, Merger Sub and Neon (the “Merger Agreement”). Neon was the surviving corporation of the Merger and, as a result of the Merger, has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Parent (the “Surviving Corporation”).”

“Ceased to hold the positions”

BioNTech US said: “[A]t the Effective Time, following the closing of the Merger, each named executive officer of the Company listed below ceased to hold the positions indicated beside such executive officer’s name:

  • Hugh O’Dowd: President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Yasir B. Al-Wakeel: Chief Financial Officer.”
Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in BioNTech US Inc.’s share price of 50% since May 2019.

In the position of CEO since 2016

Hugh O’Dowd became CEO of the Company in 2016.

Hugh O’Dowd has served as the Company’s President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Company’s Board of Directors since September 2016.

Prior to joining the Company, O’Dowd spent more than 20 years in a variety of leadership roles at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, or Novartis.

While at Novartis, he served as Country President and General Manager of the United Kingdom and Ireland from 2015 to 2016, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Novartis Oncology from 2011 to 2015, and he served as Vice President, Latin America Region Head for the Oncology business unit from 2009 to 2011.

During his time as Chief Commercial Officer, O’Dowd was responsible for the global commercialization for Novartis’ oncology portfolio of Novartis, including global brand leadership, health economics and pricing, early phase commercial development, strategic capabilities, business development and licensing and global sales excellence.

O’Dowd received an M.B.A from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University in Chicago and a B.A. from Loyola University Chicago.

Push-out Score not determined

When a company convincingly explains that the departure is due to personal or business reasons that are unrelated to the firm’s activities, a Push-out Score™ is not determined.

Read the full story in the exechange report 19.2020 ($).