Heron CEO Barry Quart leaves

  • After 10 years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Quart
  • Craig Collard taking over
  • Quart kept it short and said 48 words

(exechange) — San Diego, California, April 3, 2023 — Barry Quart, chief executive of Heron, leaves his position. As announced by Heron Therapeutics Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, April 3, 2023, Barry Quart leaves his post as chief executive officer at the commercial-stage biotechnology company, after 10 years in the role, effective immediately.

The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 7.9 years. 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.

Barry Quart’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Craig Collard, most recently Chief Executive Officer at Veloxis Pharmaceutics A/S.

The fact that Barry Quart’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider does not have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

“The right time to move on”

Barry Quart’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Quart stated: “It is the right time to move on as the company focuses on commercialization activities.”

The top three reasons cited in corporate announcements for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (27.8% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (16.6%) and the statement that the time was right for a change (10%), according to exechange data. Other motives given for leadership changes included the outgoing CEO’s wish to pursue other opportunities (5.9% of cases), personal reasons (3.8%) and conduct issues (2.2%). Rather rarely stated reasons are health problems (1.6% of cases), disagreement (1.3%), death (1.3%), the desire for more time with family (0.9%) and career change (0.6%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 28.1% of cases, no reason was given.

Precise information regarding Barry Quart’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Stepped down/cease to serve”

Heron said: “Mr. Collard succeeds Barry Quart, Pharm.D., who has stepped down as CEO and Chairman of the Board. In addition, as part of the leadership change, the Board elected Adam Morgan as Chairman.”

Heron further said: “Mr. Collard succeeds Barry Quart, who will cease to serve as the Company’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and a director as of the Effective Date [April 3, 2023].”

“Not the result of any disagreement”

Heron stated, regarding the change: “Dr. Quart’s departure is not the result of any disagreement with the Company, its management or the Board.”

Share price decline since April 2018

The announcement follows a decline in Heron Therapeutics Inc.’s share price of 94% since April 2018.

In the position of CEO since 2013

Barry Quart became CEO of the Company in 2013.

Barry Quart, Pharm.D. has served as a director of Heron since 2012.

Quart was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2013, President and Chief Executive Officer in 2019 and was named Chairman of the Board in October 2020.

He has more than 25 years of experience serving in leadership positions in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and developing innovative pharmaceutical products.

In 2006, Quart co-founded Ardea Biosciences, Inc. and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer from its inception through 2013, and as a director through its acquisition by AstraZeneca PLC in 2012.

Previously, he was with Pfizer Inc. as Senior Vice President of Pfizer Global Research and Development, and the director of Pfizer’s La Jolla Laboratories.

Prior to Pfizer’s acquisition of the Warner-Lambert Company, Quart was President of Research and Development at Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a division of the Warner-Lambert Company.

He joined Agouron in 1993 and was instrumental in the development and registration of Viracept® (nelfinavir).

Quart also served as a director of Synageva Biopharma Corp. from 2012 through its acquisition by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2015.

Since 2015, he has served as a director of Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., a biopharmaceutical company.

Quart received a Pharm.D. degree from the University of California, San Francisco.

48 words by Barry Quart

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Heron Therapeutics Inc., Barry Quart received praise and thanks.

In announcing his departure, Barry Quart kept it short and said 48 words.

“Seamless transition”

Barry Quart stated: “I am incredibly proud of the Heron team; few small biotechnology companies have developed and commercialized four FDA-approved products. It is the right time to move on as the company focuses on commercialization activities. I look forward to working with Craig to ensure a seamless transition in leadership.”

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 109 words. The longest statement was 510 words. The shortest statement was 23 words. Leadership transitions in which departing CEOs provide conspicuously short, excessively long 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.

39% 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 320 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (April 3, 2022, to April 2, 2023), the average Push-out Score was 6.1, 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 personal reasons were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.

Around 39% 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, three in eight departing CEOs were forced out or fired.

Push-out Score for Barry Quart’s move determined

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

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 15.2023 ($).