Aadi CEO Brendan Delaney leaves

  • After less than three months in the position
  • Scott Giacobello taking over temporarily
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Los Angeles, California, March 3, 2023 — Brendan Delaney, chief executive of Aadi, leaves his position. As announced by Aadi Bioscience Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Friday, March 3, 2023, Brendan Delaney leaves his post as chief executive officer at the biopharmaceutical company, after less than three months in the role, effective March 14, 2023.

The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 8.4 years. Around 5% of CEOs left their posts within their first year. This is according to data collected by CEO-exit research firm exechange.

exechange tracks CEO departures at the 3,000 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S., examines the reasons CEOs leave and determines the Push‑out Score™, a measure of pressure on departing chief executives on a scale of 0 to 10.

Aadi will undertake a search for a successor.

Brendan Delaney’s duties as CEO will be taken over temporarily by Scott Giacobello, currently Chief Financial Officer at Aadi Bioscience Inc., as Interim Chief Executive Officer.

In addition, Neil Desai, the Founder of Aadi Bioscience and its President and CEO prior to Delaney, continues to serve as the Executive Chairman and a member of the Board of directors and will assist with the leadership transition.

“Personal reasons”

Brendan Delaney’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Aadi stated: “Brendan Delaney has resigned for personal reasons from his position as Chief Executive Officer, President, and member of the Board of Directors of the Company.”

The top three reasons cited in corporate announcements for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (26.1% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (17.3%) and the statement that the time was right for a change (9.4%), according to exechange data. Other motives given for leadership changes included the outgoing CEO’s wish to pursue other opportunities (5.8% of cases), personal reasons (3.3%) and conduct issues (2.1%). Rather rarely stated reasons are career change (2.1% of cases), health problems (1.5%), disagreement (1.2%), the desire for more time with family (0.9%) and death (0.9%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 29.4% of cases, no reason was given.

Precise information regarding Brendan Delaney’s future plans was not immediately available.


Aadi said: “On March 2, 2023, Brendan Delaney submitted a letter to the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Aadi Bioscience, Inc. (the “Company”) resigning from his position as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and as a member of the Board of Directors, effective March 14, 2023.”

Generally, resignations are seen as formally voluntary departures. Still, CEOs may also be pressured to resign. In fact, 77% of the time “resign” was used in CEO departure announcements over the past 12 months, the departing chief executives received Push-out Scores above the critical threshold of 5, indicating elevated pressure.

“Not the result of any disagreement”

Aadi stated, regarding the change: “Mr. Delaney’s decision to resign was not the result of any disagreement with management or the Board, or related to the Company’s operations, policies, or practices.”

Share price decline since January 2023

The announcement follows a decline in Aadi Bioscience Inc.’s share price of 12% since January 2023. January 2023 is the month in which Delaney’s tenure as CEO began.

In the position of CEO since 2023

Brendan Delaney became CEO of the Company in 2023.

Delaney began his role as Aadi’s President and CEO on January 1, 2023, having previously served as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer from September 2021.

Before Aadi, Delaney served as the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Constellation Pharma which was acquired by MorphoSys for $1.7 billion.

Prior to joining Constellation, Delaney was the CCO at Immunomedics, where he led the buildout of the marketing, sales, market access, and commercial operations teams.

He was instrumental in successfully launching Trodelvy, the first TROP-2 directed antibody-drug conjugate for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer.

Immunomedics was acquired by Gilead Sciences for $21 billion in September 2020.

Previously, he served as the head of U.S. hematology and oncology at Celgene Corporation, where he managed a portfolio of brands including Revlimid, Pomalyst and Abraxane.

Prior to joining Celgene, he held various commercial roles at both Novartis Oncology and Genentech, where he led several successful product launches for blockbuster brands.

He earned an MBA from the Stern School of Business at NYU and a BS in biology from Rutgers University.

At the time of Brendan Delaney’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Aadi, Desai had stated: “We have made great progress in the last year, positioning us well for the next phase of growth. In preparation for the advancements to come, we are also realigning our management structure. We announced last evening that I am moving into the role of Executive Chairman while our current COO, Brendan Delaney, will transition to President and CEO. Brendan’s proven expertise, committed leadership and broad strategic vision have been key drivers of our success. Going forward, Brendan will assume leadership of the Company while my personal focus will turn toward advancement of our scientific initiatives.”

At the time of Brendan Delaney’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Aadi, Delaney had stated: “It’s such an exciting time at Aadi, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the execution our team has demonstrated. I am honored to have been selected to lead this organization as we move forward and execute on the strategies that will support further growth. Our oncology franchise is growing, and I believe we are well-positioned to achieve our goal of becoming a leading precision oncology company that delivers on providing therapeutic benefit to patients in need.”

No statement by Brendan Delaney

The announcement of his departure as CEO does not include a statement by Brendan Delaney.

Over the past 12 months, 25% of all outgoing CEOs remained silent in the departure announcement, according to data compiled by exechange. Departing CEOs who did make a statement said an average of 110 words. The longest statement was 510 words. The shortest statement was 23 words. Leadership transitions in which departing CEOs provide conspicuously short or no explanations for their move are statistically associated with elevated pressure and show an increased incidence of Push-out Scores above the critical threshold of 5, according to exechange data.

37% of CEOs are forced out or fired

When CEO departures are announced, exechange determines the Push-out Score on a scale of 0 to 10 to assess how likely it is that the chief executive was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position, with 0 being most likely a voluntary move and 10 being most likely a forced exit. Anything over a 5 indicates that there are valid reasons to believe an executive may have been pushed out.

Of the 330 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (March 3, 2022, to March 2, 2023), the average Push-out Score was 5.9, according to exechange data. References to conduct issues, disagreements and irregularities lead to the highest Push-out Scores. When performance issues, time with family or other opportunities were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.

Around 37% of the CEO departure events from the past 12 months received Push-out Scores of 8 or higher.

In other words, in the past 12 months, one in three departing CEOs were forced out or fired.

Pressure in the health care sector far above the critical threshold

Some industries are under generally higher pressure than others, and CEOs are feeling the strain. In the past 12 months, the communication, health care and consumer discretionary sectors showed the highest average Push-out Scores. By contrast, pressure on CEOs was lowest in the real estate, utilities and financials sectors, as measured by average Push-out Scores.

In the health care sector, which includes Aadi Bioscience Inc., the average Push-out Score over the past 12 months was 7.2, which is far above the critical threshold of 5.

In the health care sector, 28 exiting CEOs received Push-out Scores of 8 or higher over the past 12 months, indicating that they were most likely forced out or faced strong pressure to step down.

Push-out Score for Brendan Delaney’s move determined

The Push-out Score regarding Brendan Delaney’s move is explained point by point in the exechange report.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 10.2023 ($).