Harpoon Therapeutics CEO Jerry McMahon leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about five years in the position
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for McMahon
  • Julie Eastland taking over

(exechange) — South San Francisco, California, October 26, 2021 — Jerry McMahon, chief executive of Harpoon Therapeutics, leaves. As announced by Harpoon Therapeutics Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, Gerald (Jerry) McMahon leaves his post as chief executive officer at the clinical-stage immunotherapy company, after about five years in the role, effective immediately.

Jerry McMahon’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Julie Eastland, most recently Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at ReCode Therapeutics.

Already a director

Eastland is already a director of Harpoon Therapeutics. 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, Eastland understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Harpoon Therapeutics’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

No reason given

In the announcement, Harpoon Therapeutics did not explicitly explain the reason for the move.

Precise information regarding Jerry McMahon’s future plans was not immediately available.


Harpoon Therapeutics said: “Ms. Eastland will succeed Jerry McMahon, Ph.D., who has resigned from his position as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the company’s Board of Directors.”

Harpoon Therapeutics further said: “On October 25, 2021, Gerald McMahon, Ph.D. notified Harpoon Therapeutics, Inc. (the “Company”) of his decision to resign as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”), in each case effective October 26, 2021.”

“Not the result of any disagreement”

“Dr. McMahon’s resignation is not the result of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s financial operations, policies or practices,” Harpoon Therapeutics said.

Share price decline since October 2020

The announcement follows a decline in Harpoon Therapeutics Inc.’s share price of 63% since October 2020.

In the position of CEO since 2016

Jerry McMahon became CEO of the Company in 2016.

McMahon has entered into a retirement and transition agreement with Harpoon and will serve as an advisor.

Gerald McMahon, Ph.D. has served as the Company’s President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Company’s Board since December 2016.

From May 2012 to its acquisition by Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. in November 2016, McMahon was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an oncology biologics company where he played a key role in the development of the business.

From October 2010 to May 2012, he served as Senior Vice President of Oncology at MedImmune LLC, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca.

Prior to MedImmune, he served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NeoRx Corporation, a pharmaceutical company, and as a venture partner at Bay City Capital, a venture capital firm, and in executive leadership roles at Poniard Pharmaceuticals and SUGEN (acquired by Pfizer), both biopharmaceutical companies, where he was a key player in the development and commercialization of innovative oncology drugs.

McMahon earned a B.S. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He held an academic appointment at the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center at Yale University, and previously held post-graduate appointments at Tufts University School of Medicine, department of hematology and oncology at the New England Medical Center, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Push-out Score determined

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

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 44.2021 ($).