The decision on Monday by Jeff Poulton, chief financial officer Shire for the U.S.-based agri-bio startup Indigo AG, surprised investors of the global biotech firm. However, Poulton quickly moved to investors’ worries by saying the move was a personal decision.
Poulton’s announcement follows the recent departure of Shire research and development Phil Vickers and the July announcement by the company that it was consolidating its U.S. operations into two main sites in Massachusetts – a move that could mean the closure of some facilities.
Poulton said it was difficult for him to leave the rare disease drug maker but he wanted to join a smaller company which he could help build up. He said the finalization of Baxalta’s integration with Shire and the company’s focus on paying off debts was a perfect moment for him to commence his own transition.
In an interview with the financial site Barrons, Poulton said that timing is “never good with these kinds of things.” He also added that there was “no smoking gun here.”
Shares of Shire fell four per cent to $139.71 on Monday, following the news of Poulton’s plan to leave, according to Barrons. However, by Friday the shares have rebounded to $144.89.
Poulton began working for Shire in 2003. His stint as CFO of the company, which began in 2015, covers the period when Shire made its $32 billion acquisition of Baxalta last year.
“Our take is that his move is motivated by an interest in a more entrepreneurial professional opportunity,” said Steinberg. “…we have always found Mr. Poulton to be straightforward and honest.”
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