AbbVie streamlines management team to 4 executives under CEO Gonzalez

AbbVie announced plans for a streamlined new executive team on Monday. (AbbVie)

AbbVie has been on a hot streak lately thanks to the performance of its bestselling Humira, but as the company looks to the future, it has decided to streamline its management team. 

The company is consolidating its executive team into four managers who will report to CEO Richard Gonzalez. In the new setup, Michael Severino, who was AbbVie’s EVP of R&D and chief scientific officer, will become vice chairman and president. He'll oversee R&D, HR, operations and AbbVie’s corporate strategy office in the role. 

Carlos Alban will serve as chief commercial officer, moving from his current role of EVP of commercial operations. And Laura Schumacher will take the position of vice chairman, external affairs and chief legal officer. She was previously EVP of external affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary.  

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Lastly, Bill Chase will for now keep his position as EVP of finance and administration, overseeing all financial and administrative functions, AbbVie said. He had previously announced plans to retire in mid-2019.

RELATED: AbbVie CFO Chase spearheaded its Abbott spinoff and Imbruvica buy—and now he's retiring 

The rest of AbbVie’s executive team will report to those four managers. Currently, AbbVie’s leadership page lists 10 executives other than CEO Richard Gonzalez. All of the moves are effective immediately.

AbbVie is changing up its executive team as its immunology blockbuster Humira dominates on the market, but as biosimilar competition starts to take a toll in Europe. In the U.S., the company has inked deals to delay competition until 2023. Still, AbbVie is planning its post-Humira future, advancing drugs such as cancer drug Imbruvica—picked up in a $21 billion Pharmacyclics buyout in 2015—plus hep C medication Mavyret, pipeline drugs risankizumab and upadacitinib and more. 

RELATED: Merck promotes oncology, vaccine executives to replace Adam Schechter in commercial rejig 

The management changes follow a slew of other executive moves in Big Pharma, particularly on the commercial side. Merck, for one, said last week it would transition global human health President Adam Schechter into a CEO advisory role.

With the switch, Merck’s Frank Clyburn assumed the position of chief commercial officer, and Michael Nally became chief marketing officer. Clyburn previously was president of Merck’s oncology business, and Nally ran the vaccines outfit at the drugmaker. 

In other recent moves in pharma, Gilead last week announced it’s making longtime Roche pharma executive Daniel O’Day its next CEO. Before that, Amgen poached Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Murdo Gordon to serve as EVP of global commercial operations, and Amgen’s Laura Hamill left to serve as Gilead’s chief commercial officer.  

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