Moderna's David Meline to retire—again—after company's recent CFO hiring snafu

Just when former Amgen CFO David Meline thought he was out, Moderna pulled him back in. Then he was out again. Then back in. Now, the finance chief is making a third attempt at retirement.

Early next month, PerkinElmer veteran James Mock will succeed Meline as Moderna’s new chief financial officer. Meline will retire that same day—Sept. 6—though he plans to hang around at the company as a consultant for some time to help ease the CFO switch, Moderna said in a release.

After serving as Amgen’s CFO from 2014 through the end of 2019, Meline came out of retirement in 2020 to help prepare Moderna for its commercial debut. The Massachusetts-based biotech had no marketed products prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it managed to bring home roughly $18 billion in sales last year on the strength of its hugely successful mRNA vaccine Spikevax.

With Moderna’s market debut done and dusted, meanwhile, Meline originally planned to head for the exit in May, passing the reins to former Dentsply Sirona CFO Jorge Gomez. That appointment was ill-fated, however, with Gomez ousted just one day into the new gig after his former employer revealed an internal accounting probe.

Dentsply Sirona, which makes dental office supplies, said it couldn’t file its financial report for the first three months of 2022 because its audit and finance committee was looking into incentives the company used to sell products to distributors in the second half of 2021. The company also said it was investigating whether management directed employees to use the incentives to hit 2021 executive compensation targets.

With Gomez’s departure, Moderna quickly brought Meline back into the fold, offering him upwards of $700,000 in salary, plus annual incentives and eligibility for stock options and awards.

New finance chief Mock, for his part, comes over from diagnostics and analytics outfit PerkinElmer, where he’s served as CFO since 2018. Prior to his PerkinElmer stint, Mock worked for nearly two decades across multiple roles at General Electric.

"This is a company with an exceptionally bright future and it is a privilege to be part of it,” Mock said of Moderna.

While Mock’s work will be squarely focused on Moderna’s COVID-19 shot for the foreseeable future, the company has big plans for its mRNA platform, with dozens of candidates against infectious diseases, cancer and more in hopper.

Alongside planned omicron-targeting booster shots for the fall, Moderna expects to develop a combination COVID, flu and respiratory syncytial virus shot over “three to five years,” CEO Stéphane Bancel told CNN Business in early August. The company has dozens of other programs in its pipeline, as well.