Two weeks after being named the new CEO of Zymeworks, Kenneth Galbraith has announced major leadership changes and said the clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company will lay off at least 25% of its staff this year.
Galbraith replaced Zymeworks co-founder Ali Tehrani, Ph.D., who has served as President and CEO since 2003. Dr. Tehrani will remain as an advisor to the Company to assist with the transition.
“As an initial step, we have reset and focused the Company’s operations around our core activities and most promising R&D opportunities. These measures, including the reduction in our workforce announced today, provide opportunities to reduce our future planned expenditures while continuing to fund our key priorities for 2022 and 2023,” said Galbraith.
“I am looking forward to reporting our progress against these key priorities over the course of 2022 and 2023 as we reset, focus and build a leading biopharmaceutical company around a renewed organization, and an exciting and expanding pipeline of product candidates with the potential to make a significant difference for patients around the world with difficult-to-treat cancers.”
In conjunction with the renewed focus on key priorities and desire for cost-efficiency in our operations, ten members (or 50%) of the former senior management team (including the Chief People Officer, Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Scientific Officer/EVP Early Development), will be leaving the company.
Additionally, in line with these reductions in the senior management team, a company-wide reduction in workforce will be initiated with a target of reducing employee headcount by at least 25% by the end of 2022.
“While we sincerely understand and appreciate the personal impact of these changes on employees in our organization, starting immediately, a smaller, more focused workforce is essential for us to improve our operating performance and accomplish our key priorities in a more cost-efficient manner,” said Galbraith.
“I am confident in the ability of our Board of Directors, our new leadership team and our dedicated employees to work effectively together as we move forward to carry out the work that we do every day for the benefit of patients in need, our collective success as a workforce, and in the interests of our stockholders to build a successful and valuable biotechnology company.”