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Biogen loses another top executive as tech guru departs

March 9, 2017
Life sciences

Biogen, the state’s largest drugmaker, has seen a number of top executives depart in recent years. Now you can add another official to the list: Adriana Karaboutis, the company’s executive vice president of technology, business solutions and corporate affairs.

Karaboutis’ decision to leave Cambridge-based Biogen (Nasdaq: BIIB) was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday and confirmed by a spokesman for the company. The spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reasons for Karaboutis’ exit, or about the company’s search for her replacement.

Adriana Karaboutis has left her post as executive vice president of technology and business solutions at Biogen.

Karaboutis, who joined Biogen in 2014 to oversee information technology after serving as chief information officer at Dell, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, “Thanks @Biogen for an exciting & successful 2.5 years! Wishing company, new leadership & great tech teams the best!!”

She was named as one of the Boston Business Journal’s Women to Watch in science and technology last year.

It marks the latest high-profile departure at Biogen, the biggest biotech employer headquartered in Massachusetts by market capitalization. George Scangos stepped down as CEO at the end of 2016 and was replaced by former chief commercial officer Michel Vounatsos.

Previously, Doug Williams left his post as head of research and development in July 2015, later landing at a small biotech startup. Corporate development and strategy chief Adam Koppel left Biogen in June 2016 following a two-year stint to rejoin his former firm, Bain Capital. Chief information officer Matt Griffiths also left in June after a little more than a year in that role.

Commercial operations head Tony Kingsley announced his departure in October 2015. His responsibilities were initially assumed by John Cox, the executive vice president of pharmaceutical operations and technology. When Biogen recently spun off its hemophilia business into a separate company called Bioverativ, Cox left to become the new entity’s CEO.

Biogen focuses on autoimmune, neurological and rare diseases. The bulk of its revenue comes from multiple sclerosis treatments, primarily the blockbuster drug Tecfidera. The company has a promising Alzheimer’s drug in late-stage trials, and it recently secured FDA approval for the first-ever treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, a leading genetic cause of death among infants.

Among Wall Street analysts, the company continues to be the subject of speculation regarding a possible takeover.

By Max Stendahl

Source: Boston Business Journal

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