Karyopharm CEO Michael Kauffman leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After 10 years in the position
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for Kauffman
  • Richard Paulson taking over
  • Kauffman said 113 words

(exechange) — Newton, Massachusetts, May 3, 2021 — Michael Kauffman, chief executive of Karyopharm, leaves. As announced by Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, May 3, 2021, Michael G. Kauffman leaves his post as chief executive officer at the commercial-stage pharmaceutical company after 10 years in the role, effective immediately.

Michael Kauffman’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Richard Paulson, most recently Executive Vice President at Ipsen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Already a director

Paulson is already a director of Karyopharm. Generally speaking, most director-turned-CEO appointments occur following a sudden resignation of the outgoing CEO and signal a lack of preparedness on the company’s part to groom internal talent. Directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Paulson understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Karyopharm’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

“A pivotal point in its commercialization efforts”

Karyopharm did not give an explicit reason for Michael Kauffman’s departure from the CEO post, leaving room for speculation. Paulson said: “As Karyopharm is now at a pivotal point in its commercialization efforts, I am excited to lead the Company in its next chapter of growth and innovation as we seek to expand XPOVIO’s impact across indications and geographies.”


Karyopharm said: “Mr. Paulson will also remain a member of the Board of Directors. He will succeed Michael G. Kauffman, MD, PhD, as Chief Executive Officer and Sharon Shacham, PhD, MBA, as President.”

Karyopharm further said: “Mr. Paulson succeeds Michael G. Kauffman, who resigned on April 28, 2021 as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer effective as of May 3, 2021, and Sharon Shacham, who resigned on April 28, 2021 as the Company’s President effective as of May 3, 2021.”

Shacham will continue in her roles as Chief Scientific Officer overseeing research, development and regulatory affairs and as Chair of the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board.

Share price decline since May 2020

The announcement follows a decline in Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc.’s share price of 52% since May 2020.

In the position of CEO since 2011

Michael Kauffman became CEO of the Company in 2011.

Kauffman will continue in his role as a member of the Board of Directors and assume a new role with the Company as Senior Clinical Advisor.

In Kauffman’s new role as Senior Clinical Advisor, he will help guide additional clinical development for Karyopharm’s robust pipeline of programs, with an increasing focus on solid tumor indications.

Kauffman has served as Karyopharm’s Chief Executive Officer since 2011 and has been one of the Company’s directors since 2008.

Kauffman co-founded Karyopharm with Sharon Shacham in 2008 and served as the Company’s President from 2011 to 2013 and as Chief Medical Officer from 2012 to 2013.

Prior to joining Karyopharm, he was Chief Medical Officer of Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (“Onyx”), a public biopharmaceutical company, from 2009 to 2010.

From 2008 to 2009, Kauffman was Chief Medical Officer of Proteolix Inc. (“Proteolix”), which was acquired by Onyx.

At Proteolix, he led the development of Kyprolis® (carfilzomib), a novel proteasome inhibitor approved in refractory myeloma by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) in 2012.

Kauffman was an operating partner at Bessemer Venture Partners from 2006 to 2008, where he led investments in biotechnology companies.

From 2006 to 2008, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Epix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Epix”), a public biopharmaceutical company that underwent liquidation proceedings through an assignment for the benefit of creditors under Massachusetts law in 2009.

Kauffman was President and Chief Executive Officer of Predix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Predix”), a private biopharmaceutical company focused on G protein-coupled receptors, from 2002 until its merger into Epix in 2006.

In that role, he led the merger of Predix and Epix, oversaw the discovery and development of four new clinical candidates and led collaboration transactions with Amgen and GlaxoSmithKline plc.

From 2000 to 2002, Kauffman was Vice President, Clinical at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Millennium”), a biopharmaceutical company, where he led the Velcade® development program.

From 1997 to 2000, Kauffman held a number of senior positions at Millennium Predictive Medicine, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company and a subsidiary of Millennium, where he led the discovery and development of novel molecular diagnostics for major cancers, including melanoma and led transactions with Becton-Dickenson and Bristol Myers Squibb.

From 1995 to 1997, Kauffman held a number of senior positions at Biogen Idec, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, where he led the clinical development of anti-CD40L antibodies in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, and acted as the main medical advisor to the Biogen business development group.

Kauffman has served on the board of directors, the audit committee and as chairman of the compensation committee of Kezar Life Sciences, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company, since December 2016 and has been the lead director and a member of the compensation committee of Verastem Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company, since 2012.

Kauffman previously served on the board of directors, nominating and governance committee and research and development committee of Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company, from April 2017 to March 2020.

Kauffman received his B.A. in Biochemistry from Amherst College and his M.D. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins Medical School, and he trained in internal medicine and rheumatology at Beth Israel Hospital (now Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) and Massachusetts General Hospital.

He is board certified in internal medicine.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding Michael Kauffman’s move on a scale of 0 to 10.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 19.2021 ($).