Galena CEO Mark Schwartz leaves abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After almost three years on the job
  • Praise and good wishes for Schwartz
  • Search for a successor

( — San Ramon, California, January 31, 2017 — Mark Schwartz, chief executive of Galena, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Galena Biopharma, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, Mark W. Schwartz leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the biopharmaceutical company in a surprising move after almost three years on the job, effective immediately.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first years.

Galena will undertake a search for a successor.

No reason given

In the announcement, Galena did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Schwartz’ sudden move, leaving room for speculation.


Galena said: “[T]he Board of Directors has entered into a separation agreement with Mark W. Schwartz, Ph.D. under which Dr. Schwartz will resign from the company and its affiliates as the President, Chief Executive Officer, and member of the Board of Directors, effective today.”

Precise information about the future plans of Schwartz was not immediately available.

Share price decline

The change follows a sharp decline in the share price of Galena Biopharma, Inc. since January 2014.

Chaired by Sanford J. Hillsberg

Galena Biopharma, Inc. is chaired by Sanford J. Hillsberg.

Hillsberg has served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors since 2007.

On the job as CEO since 2014

Schwartz has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Galena Biopharma, Inc. since August 2014.

Previously, he was Galena’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer following Galena’s 2011 acquisition of Apthera, Inc. where he served as the company’s President and CEO.

Prior to Apthera, Schwartz served for five years as President and CEO of Bayhill Therapeutics, a company developing an innovative DNA vaccine platform for the treatment of autoimmune diseases where he completed a successful partnership with Genentech for the development of the company’s Type 1 diabetes vaccine.

He had also served as President and CEO of Calyx Therapeutics, which expanded significantly, and completed key Phase 1 and Phase 2 international clinical trials of novel anti-inflammatory compounds during his tenure.

Earlier in his career, Schwartz held a range of positions in R&D, marketing, sales, business development and executive management at Trega BioSciences, Incyte Genomics, Synteni, Tripos Inc., Applied Biosystems and DuPont Diagnostics.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Mark W. Schwartz’ move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the report 06.2017 ($).