2 Top Amgen Executives Leaving the Company


Two of Amgen’s executive vice presidents are leaving the company. Well-known figure Sean Harper, the company’s executive vice president of Research and Development, is retiring and “plans to pursue opportunities in the early-stage biotechnology community.”

Anthony Hooper, executive vice president of Global Commercial Operations, will retire in September. Murdo Gordon, chief commercial officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, has been named his replacement, effective September 3.

Harper will be replaced by David Reese, currently senior vice president of Translational Sciences and Oncology at Amgen. Effective yesterday, he was named executive vice president of Research and Development. Harper plans to stay at Amgen for an unspecified period of time to ease the transition.

Harper joined Amgen in 2002 as vice president of Development, eventually reaching his current position in February 2012. In between he was also the vice president of Global Regulatory Affairs and Safety, then senior vice president of Global Development and Corporate Chief Medical Officer. Before joining Amgen, he was senior director of clinical genomics at Merck Research Laboratories. He attended medical school at the University of California at San Francisco and completed internal medicine and gastroenterology training at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Hooper joined Amgen in 2011 as executive vice president of Global Commercial Operations. He is known for establishing Amgen’s new biosimilars business. Also, during his tenure, sales grew by nearly 50 percent. Before joining Amgen, he spent more than 15 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb, finishing there as senior vice president, Global Commercial Operations and president of its pharma business in the Americas, Japan and Intercontinental regions. Prior to that he was assistant vice president of Global Marketing for Wyeth Laboratories. He earned law and MBA degrees from the University of South Africa.

“I would like to thank both Sean and Tony for the important contributions they have made to Amgen, each bringing their own vital experiences and skills,” said Robert Bradway, Amgen’s chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. “They leave the company having established strong foundations within Research and Development and Global Commercial Operations for the future. It is a testament to their leadership and accomplishments that they have attracted such exceptional talent to succeed them.”

The announcement comes the day after the company’s second-quarter financial report. Total revenues for the quarter grew 4 percent compared to the same period last year to $6.1 billion. GAAP earnings per share (EPS) grew 20 percent to $3.48, craven by higher product sales, a lower tax rate, and lower weighted-average shares outstanding. Of particular note, Repatha sales grew 78 percent, Blincyto grew 40 percent, and Kyprolis grew 25 percent.

For the full year, Amgen has given guidance of total revenues from $22.5 billion to $23.2 billion, up from $21.9 to $22.8 billion. It projects on a GAAP basis, that its EPS will range from $11.83 to $12.62, with a tax rate ranging from 12.5 percent to 13.5 percent. Previous GAAP EPS was $11.30 to $12.28.

“Amgen’s strong performance in the second quarter was driven by double-digit, volume-driven growth from our new and recently launched products,” Bradway stated. “Our two most recently launched products, Aimovig and Parsabiv, are off to a strong start.”

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