The surprise announcement on Marc Funk’s decision to depart the role of CEO sees the company looking to hire a second CEO in the space of one year, with Funk set to step down in January 2020.
On an interim basis Albert Baehny, the company’s current chairman, will take responsibility for CEO duties. In addition, Christopher Maeder will become lead independent director of the board, for reasons of ‘good governance’.
The decision comes as a surprise, with the share price of Lonza beginning to fall only on Monday afternoon, shortly before the official announcement was made. At the time of writing, shares in the company were down by 6.2%.
BioPharma-Reporter spoke to Funk only a few weeks ago; however, no indication was given that any changes were to be expected. Instead, Funk spoke on how the decision the company had taken to separate its specialty ingredients business would set up the overall business to be in a stronger position for the future.
Funk had worked at Lonza since 2012, and, before entering the role of CEO, he had held the position of chief operating officer of the company’s Pharma and Biotech business.
Prior to Funk, Richard Ridinger had been in the position of CEO for seven years, before retiring from the position – he is now a non-executive director at Firmenich and a member of Novo Holdings advisory group.
In a statement, Baehny gave no indication of an interest in pursuing the role beyond the interim position, suggesting that he would work with the board to find a replacement for Funk.
He continued, “I am committed to Lonza, its employees and all its stakeholders and I will ensure that I work in their best interests in the months ahead.”