PPD Names New CEO
PPD Names New CEO [Star-News, Wilmington, N.C.]
From Star-News (Wilmington, NC) (May 23, 2012)
May 23--Pfizer Inc. executive David Simmons has been named chairman and CEO of PPD, the Wilmington-based company said Wednesday.
Simmons is the first CEO named by the clinical research company since it was taken private in December by The Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman LLC in a $3.9 billion deal, said PPD spokesman Ned Glascock.
The company has been run by a four-member executive committee since the departure of former CEO Raymond Hill in December.
Simmons, who has major international experience, will take over at PPD June 4 and will be based in Wilmington.
"I’m looking forward to moving to Wilmington and getting to know the community," Simmons said in a statement Wednesday. "PPD is fortunate to have its global headquarters located in a business-friendly community with so much to offer the people who live and work there."
Pfizer is headquartered in New York City, and Simmons will be moving from that area, Glascock said.
Simmons served as president and general manager of emerging markets and established products at Pfizer.
Established products are medicines that have lost or are close to losing their exclusivity.
Simmons has had executive responsibilities in the United Kingdom, Greece and Canada, according to Pfizer’s web site.
His international experience "is certainly part of the equation the board has in bringing him on board," Glascock said. "It’s a real strength that is part of all that he brings to the table."
PPD has undertaken considerable expansion abroad in recent years and now has offices in 45 countries and a total of 11,500 employees.
Simmons’ duties at Pfizer included responsibility for the biosimilar development program, PPD said.
A biosimilar product is similar but not identical to an already-approved product -- a drug, for instance -- and is said to have the same outcome, Glascock said.
Biosimilar is an area of opportunity where PPD has a strong expertise, he said.
Neither Simmons nor PPD had further comment Wednesday.
Simmons’ appointment, however, is evidence of an industry trend, one analyst said.
"In general, (choosing) a big pharma executive does signal the increasingly close relationship between pharmaceutical companies and CROs as they move toward the strategic partnership model," said Lauren Migliore, an analyst who follows the health care industry for Morningstar in Chicago. PPD is a CRO, which stands for contract research organization.
Pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies continue to farm out an increasing part of their work to CROs. The companies are forming broad relationships that can span multiple products and the entire process of a product’s life from research and development, to clinical trials to marketing.
Those developments have boosted the fortunes of CROs in recent months.
Before Simmons’ most recent roles at Pfizer, he held various positions of increasing responsibility in information technology and pharmaceutical operations, including roles in several countries around the world, PPD said.
PPD’s board of directors includes Jeffrey B. Kindler, former chairman and CEO of Pfizer.
The board also includes four representatives of Carlyle: Karen H. Bechtel, managing director and head of the Health Care Group at Carlyle; Peter J. Clare, managing director and co-head of its U.S. Buyout Group; Robert Essner, senior adviser to the Global Health Care Group at the company; and Stephen H. Wise, Carlyle’s managing director.
Also on the board are P. Hunter Philbrick, director at Hellman & Friedman; Allen R. Thorpe, managing director of Hellman & Friedman; Martin D. Madaus, executive chairman of Quanterix Corp; and Charles Rozwater, executive vice president of customer support services for Oracle Corp.
"We are pleased to welcome David to PPD," Wise said in a statement. "David is a proven leader whose deep industry knowledge and vision will enable PPD to further its partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies around the globe."
Simmons "is a client-focused leader with a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the bio-pharmaceutical industry," Thorpe said.
"This is a remarkable opportunity to join and lead a world-class pharmaceutical services organization through its next phase of prosperity and expansion," Simmons said in a statement.
Simmons earned his degree in applied mathematics and industrial management from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Wayne Faulkner: 343-2329
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Posted: May 2012