Novavax CFO Buck Phillips leaves at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After around four years on the job
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Phillips
  • Stanley Erck taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Gaithersburg, Maryland, October 13, 2017 — Buck Phillips, finance chief of Novavax, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Novavax, Inc. in a news release on Friday, October 13, 2017, Barclay A. (Buck) Phillips leaves the post as Chief Financial Officer at the clinical-stage biotechnology company after around four years on the job, effective November 10, 2017.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CFOs who departed over the past twelve months was 5.6 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Novavax will undertake a search for a successor.

Phillips’ duties are taken over in the interim by Stanley Erck, currently Chief Executive Officer at Novavax, Inc.

“To pursue an expanded opportunity in the industry”

The imminent management change is explained as follows. Novavax said: “Barclay A. “Buck” Phillips has submitted his resignation as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Treasurer, to pursue an expanded opportunity in the industry.”

The phrase “to pursue an expanded opportunity in the industry” opens the door to speculation.

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

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Novavax, Inc. since September 2016.

Chaired by James F. Young

Novavax, Inc. is chaired by James F. Young.

CEO: Stanley C. Erck

Stanley C. Erck serves as CEO of Novavax, Inc. Stanley Charles Erck has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Novavax Inc. since April 2011.

On the job as CFO since 2013

Barclay A. Phillips has been the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Novavax, Inc. since June 24, 2013.

Barclay A. Phillips has served as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer since June 2013.

Prior to joining the Company, Phillips served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Micromet, Inc., which was acquired by Amgen in 2012.

Previously, he was Managing Director of Vector Fund Management and a Biotechnology Analyst and Director of Venture Investments at Invesco Funds Group, Inc.

Phillips received a B.A. in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Phillips will step down effective November 10, 2017, and will provide financial, accounting and transition services as a consultant to Novavax until December 31, 2017.


As a general rule, when a top manager announces to step down with no permanent successor in place, it’s a sign that the change was unexpected and too early.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Buck Phillips’ imminent move.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 42.2017 ($).