AbbVie CEO Gonzalez to Retire July 1 After More Than a Decade at Helm

AbbVie_Michael Vi/Adobe Stock

Pictured: AbbVie sign on a building/courtesy of Adobe Stock, Michael Vi

AbbVie announced Tuesday that its longtime CEO Richard Gonzalez will retire from the top role on July 1, with President and COO Robert Michael set to succeed him.

Gonzalez, who has served as CEO since the company’s formation in 2013, is stepping down and will become the executive chairman of AbbVie’s board of directors, while Michael will take the helm effective July 1 and become a member of the board of directors.

According to AbbVie, as CEO, Gonzalez increased the company’s market capitalization from $54 billion to over $300 billion, tripling revenue and growing its workforce to over 50,000 employees. Prior to AbbVie’s separation from Abbott in 2013, Gonzalez held numerous leadership positions within Abbott for 30 years, including stints as COO and president.

“The board and I have been planning for a seamless CEO succession. Now is the opportune time to hand the CEO role over to Rob,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “The business is performing very well and is in a strong position for the long term. Our pipeline contains multiple promising candidates to sustain our future strong growth.”

Michael previously served in several leadership roles such as CFO, vice chairman and president of AbbVie and led the company’s first financial planning organization.

Gonzalez in his statement credited Michael with establishing AbbVie’s financial planning organization which developed the company’s business strategy for “successfully navigating the end of exclusivity for Humira in the U.S.”

“I am honored to assume the CEO role for AbbVie, and I am excited about our company’s bright future,” Michael said in a statement. “Rick has been a tremendous leader for AbbVie and a mentor to me personally. His legacy at AbbVie will be felt for years to come.”

Gonzalez’s departure comes as AbbVie has been active in the M&A space, including its $10 billion buy of ImmunoGen in November 2023 and the $8.7 billion deal for Cerevel Therapeutics in December 2023. 

In an SEC filing on Friday, Cerevel reported that the company and AbbVie were handed a request for additional information and documentary materials (second request) from the Federal Trade Commission regarding the regulator’s review of the merger.

“The effect of the Second Request is to extend the waiting period imposed by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the “HSR Act”), until 30 days after the Company and AbbVie have substantially complied with the Second Request, unless that period is extended voluntarily by the Company and AbbVie or terminated sooner by the FTC,” states Cerevel’s SEC filing.

Cerevel and AbbVie will “promptly” respond to the second request and plan to work with the FTC in its review of the merger. According to the SEC filing, Cerevel still expects to complete the deal with AbbVie in the middle of 2024. 

Tyler Patchen is a staff writer at BioSpace. You can reach him at tyler.patchen@biospace.com. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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