Lonza leader Marc Funk quits after just 9 months as CEO

Lonza headquarters
Lonza Chairman Albert Baehny will take over as CEO when Marc Funk leaves in January as the Swiss CDMO looks for a new leader. (Lonza)

Lonza, which has been expanding its viral vector operations but still faces challenges in other parts of its business, will have to face those with a new CEO. Marc Funk is leaving after less than a year in the top job. 

The Swiss CDMO and chemical company today announced Funk will depart in January. Funk led Lonza’s pharma and biotech operations before being named CEO in March. Chairman Albert Baehny will fill in until the company finds a new CEO.  

There were no details as to why Funk was leaving other than for “personal reasons.” 

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“The Board respects Marc’s decision and would like to thank him for his service to Lonza and wish him well for his future endeavors,” Lead Director Christoph Maeder said in a statement. 

RELATED: Lonza expanding ADC production as pharma business thrives 

Under Funk, the company has been building its gene therapy capabilities to serve that growing field of business as well as its capabilities in bioconjugation. 

Last year, the company opened a 300,000-square-foot facility in Houston for cell and gene therapy manufacturing. Its debut came ahead of moves by competitors into the rapidly developing market as biotech and pharma companies move forcefully into creating cell and gene therapy cures for some genetic diseases. 

RELATED: Lonza to carve out Specialty Ingredients unit, cut 130 jobs in restructuring push

The company’s specialty ingredients business, however, has continued to face what Lonza refers to as “headwinds” with a 3.8% fall in revenues in the first half of the year. Funk has been carving that unit out to limit its drag on the rest of the company’s performance and prepping it for a possible sale or spinoff. Lonza laid off 130 workers from the unit earlier this year as part of the moves.