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Gilead names Roche veteran Daniel O'Day as new CEO

Published on 10/12/18 at 10:39am

Almost half a year since it was revealed that Gilead’s Dr John Milligan would be stepping down from his role as CEO alongside Chairman Dr John Martin, it has emerged that Daniel O’ Day, current CEO of Roche’s pharmaceutical business, will be stepping in to helm the company.

O’ Day has been with Roche since 1987, holding a number of roles in the US, before moving to the company’s headquarters in Switzerland in 1998 to take on leadership roles in Global Marketing and Lifecycle Management. He became Head of Corporate Planning in 2001 in Japan, later becoming General Manager in Denmark. Back in the US in 2006, he became President of Roche Molecular Diagnostics, before returning to Switzerland where he became head of the company’s Diagnostics Division and later stepping into his current role. Alongside his many positions at the firm, O’ Day is also a member on a number of Roche-affiliated boards.

The incoming Chief is set to step into the role on 1 March 2019, so current Chief Patent Officer Greg Alton, a Gilead veteran of two decades, has been chosen to serve as interim CEO from 1 January until that date.

“Following a comprehensive search, the Board became convinced that Dan is the right leader to bring Gilead into the future,” commented Chairman Dr John Martin. “He is uniquely qualified to take on this role given his track record of success in highly scientific and competitive therapeutic areas, deep understanding of the evolving healthcare environment around the world, and unwavering commitment to driving innovation across all aspects of a business, which will serve Gilead and our stakeholders well. Additionally, Dan brings expertise and values that are aligned with our organisation, and I, along with Gilead’s entire Board, am confident in his ability to work alongside our talented leadership team and deliver on our ambitious goals.”

O’ Day himself remarked on the news: “I have long admired Gilead for its work to develop medicines that have fundamentally changed the way HIV and viral hepatitis are treated. The company has successfully grown into a global organization, providing access to people around the world, while maintaining its focus on innovative science. Together with the Board, leadership team and Gilead’s 11,000 employees, I look forward to building on this in ways that I believe will – in keeping with Gilead’s mission – transform the lives of millions of individuals.”

Matt Fellows

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