Teva recruits Tal Zaks to its board, offering $300K+ pay package and seamless transition from Moderna
Tal Zaks has found the first gig for his post-Moderna career — which will start just right after his last day at the mRNA powerhouse.
The seasoned exec has been recruited to the board at Teva, serving a one-year stint under chairman Sol Barer as an independent director starting Oct. 1. As announced earlier this year, his departure from Moderna is scheduled for late September, five and a half years since he was first appointed CMO.
When he took up the post at Moderna, it was still a preclinical, if flashy, startup with lofty ambitions to turn patients’ own bodies into drug factories through mRNA. Six years later, he’s leaving a household name, propelled to the ranks of the top drugmakers by revenue thanks to a Covid-19 vaccine he helped steer toward regulatory authorization.
He also departs a much wealthier man, having cashed in on Moderna’s skyrocketing share price throughout the pandemic and pocketed at least $50 million from his pre-scheduled stock sales.
Teva will be offering Zaks the same compensation as other non-executive directors, with a base fee of $130,000 plus additional cash for serving on committees as well as stock awards. Based on the company’s proxy statement, the total will likely add up to at least $300,000.
As a member of the Science and Technology Committee, he is expected to contribute insights drawn from his medical training, academic knowledge and biopharma experience
Best known as a major maker of generics, Teva has been steadily booting up R&D for branded drugs as part of a promised turnaround.
Joining the Israeli conglomerate will be a homecoming of sorts for Zaks, who got his MD and PhD from Ben Gurion University in Israel before moving to the National Cancer Institute. Since then, he’s honed his expertise in medical oncology and clinical development through a slate of positions at GlaxoSmithKline, Cephalon, Sanofi and others, while serving as adjunct faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.
With his successor, J&J vet Paul Burton, already on board, Zaks has been serving as a special advisor to Stéphane Bancel in his final weeks.
Currently, he’s also on the board of Adaptimmune Therapeutics.