Gilead's chief strategy exec gets a big promotion after orchestrating multibillion-dollar deals
After gaining credit as the architect of Gilead’s $12 billion Kite buyout as well as the recent $5 billion partnership with Galapagos, chief strategy officer Andrew Dickinson is being promoted to the prestigious CFO post at the big biotech. And new CEO Daniel O’Day says the latest move completes his makeover of the top team.
Dickinson will remain in charge of strategy in his new post.
A 3-year veteran at Gilead, Dickinson joined the bellwether biotech after a lengthy stint at Lazard Frères & Co, where he was global co-head of healthcare investing. Before that, ironically enough, he had been at Myogen, which was bought out by Gilead in 2006. Now he’ll be primarily responsible for building confidence in the numbers at a company that has a strong foundation in HIV, a disappearing franchise in hep C and a CAR-T subsidiary in Kite that has a long way to go in establishing a new business.
Dickinson will get some guidance from Robin Washington, who he will be replacing as CFO. Washington said earlier that she would remain as an adviser for the company as she exited the C-suite.
O’Day has been making some sweeping changes at the top end of the company since taking the helm. Partly that was due to an exodus of execs out of R&D as they moved to new jobs running their own biotech companies. And CEO John Milligan and chairman John Martin both left in tandem as Gilead sought a new direction in drug development that would please an anxious Wall Street.
That’s a work in progress. And Jefferies’ Michael Yee counseled patience to investors anxious to see bottom-line improvements.
In the last 6 months, O’Day (1) filled the Kite CEO role from LLY, (2) put in a new head of Commercial from BMY, (3) hired a CMO role from Genentech, and (4) filled the CFO role internally as Dickinson was EVP Corporate Development/Strategy already and has been at GILD since 2016. Of note, Dickinson was brought on to join GILD during the later part of the John Milligan era. Dickinson was close with Milligan previously having served for a decade at Lazard to help advise on strategic ideas including BD and M&A. Bottom line for GILD – investors will need patience. Improved stories aren’t made overnight.
“Andy is an exceptional, highly strategic leader. In addition to his impressive business and financial acumen and broad experience, Andy possesses strong creativity and vision. This has been evident in the way Gilead has approached acquisitions and partnerships under Andy’s leadership,” noted O’Day. “Over the past months, one of my key priorities has been to ensure we have an outstanding team of leaders to shape Gilead’s long-term success. I am pleased that with Andy’s appointment as CFO, we now have our full leadership team in place.”