Finance and Investing is pleased to announce The Top 25 CFOs in Biotechnology for 2023. Biotechnology, tracing back to ancient practices like bread, beer, and wine fermentation, experienced notable growth in the 19th century through advancements like the understanding of microorganisms and Gregor Mendel's genetic studies. Major figures such as Pasteur and Lister contributed significantly to developments in fermentation and microbial processes. This eventually led to the emergence of prominent medical companies like Gilead Sciences, Amgen, Biogen Idec, and Celgene, contributing to a global biotechnology market estimated at $1.37 trillion in 2022. On top of that, projections show a predicted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.96% from 2023 to 2030, underscoring the potential for today's biotech executives to effect meaningful change by bridging scientific innovation and business acumen, thereby catalyzing advancements in healthcare, agriculture, and other critical domains.
An excellent illustration of the advantages that come from combining business and scientific expertise can be seen in Mike Gutch, who holds the position of CFO at Noema Pharma. With both an MBA and a doctorate in cellular and molecular pathology, Gutch has built a substantial career overseeing financial matters for prominent companies in the field of biotechnology. His experience includes financial leadership roles at Entasis Therapeutics and AstraZeneca's Corporate Development group. Similarly, Marisa Frackman holds the role of CFO at Sapience Therapeutics and boasts a wealth of expertise as a seasoned financial leader, spanning 18 years within the biotechnology capital markets arena. Her career commenced on Wall Street as a member of the Healthcare Investment Banking group at Deutsche Bank Securities. From there, she managed over 250 equity offerings, collectively generating more than $90 billion in funds. Finally, Ryan Jones, who serves as CFO at Kyverna Therapeutics, also contributes an extensive background in the domains of healthcare and life sciences. Notably, Jones holds credit as a co-inventor for five granted patents in the fields of biosensors and DNA sequencing. His involvement extends to serving as a Board Observer for several companies established by GE Ventures, including Menlo Microsystems, Vineti, Drawbridge Health, and Evidation Health.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 CFOs in Biotechnology for 2023.
1. Alex Garini
Chief Financial Officer, Fresenius Kabi USA
Alex Garini is the Chief Financial Officer for the USA business segment of Fresenius Kabi, a global healthcare company that specializes in lifesaving medicines and medical technologies for infusion, transfusion, and clinical nutrition. Notably, they are part of Fresenius SE, a healthcare group with more than 100 years of experience in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and life sciences. Their employees of more than 35,000 worldwide develop and deliver injectable pharmaceuticals and infusion systems; blood collection, transfusion, and cell technologies; and essential nutrients for parenteral nutrition.
Garini joined the company in 2022. Previously, he was a CFO at Sysmex America. Before that, he served as a VP of finance at Siemens Healthcare. Earlier in his career, Garini worked with RR Donnelley as a finance manager of M&A in Brazil. Garini earned an MBA in finance from Ibmec and an undergraduate degree in business administration from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo.
2. Sue Hohenleitner
Chief Financial Officer & Vice President of Finance, North American Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson
Sue Hohenleitner is the Chief Financial Officer and VP of Finance in North American Pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson, the largest and most diversified healthcare products company in the world. The company is focused on producing life-changing breakthroughs every day – and has been for the last 130 years. Notably, the Johnson & Johnson team is backed by 155,800 employees in more than 60 countries across the world.
Hohenleitner began her career in 1992. Before joining Johnson & Johnson, she was a senior auditor at Arthur Andersen LLP. Hohenleitner graduated from Villanova University with an MBA in commerce. She also graduated from La Salle University with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
3. Bob Funck
Executive Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Abbott
Robert Funck is Abbott’s Executive Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. He was appointed to this role in March 2020. At Abbott, he previously served as Senior Vice President of Finance and Controller. He joined the company in 1987 and has since held several financial management positions.
While at Abbott, Funck has served as Vice President, Controller; Vice President, Internal Audit; Vice President, Treasurer; and Divisional Vice President and Controller in Abbott’s pharmaceutical business. Before joining Abbott, Funck worked as part of the audit group for KPMG. He earned a bachelor's in accounting from St. Ambrose University and later became a Certified Public Accountant.
4. John McKenna
Chief Financial Officer of Innovative Medicines US and US Country, Novartis
At Novartis, John McKenna is the Chief Financial Officer for US Innovative Medicines and the US Country Chief Financial Officer. He is also a member of the Global Finance Leadership Team (FLT) and the US Innovative Medicines Leadership Team (US IMLT). McKenna rejoined Novartis Pharmaceuticals from AstraZeneca as US Pharma CFO in September 2017 and moved to his current role in 2022.
Notably, McKenna has held several CFO positions at the global and affiliate level within the Novartis Group, including Alcon, CIBA VISION Corporation, and Novartis Consumer Health. He is a CPA and a CMA. He holds a doctorate (DBA) from Temple University, a master’s from Gonzaga University, and a bachelor’s from McMaster University. At Novartis, McKenna is energized by leading and developing high-performance teams that are tightly connected to the company mission both inside and outside of Finance.
5. Patrick Still
Chief Financial Officer of Internal Medicine in North America, Pfizer
Patrick Still began his professional career 26 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Financial Officer of Internal Medicine in North America of Pfizer, one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies. Pfizer collaborates with healthcare providers, governments, and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable healthcare around the world. For more than 170 years, the company has worked to make a difference for all who rely on its offerings.
Still got his start in 1997 as a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, his most recent position prior to joining Pfizer. He graduated from Columbia Business School with an MBA in finance and management. Still also graduated from Rutgers University with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
6. Carlos Santos
Chief Financial Officer, US Oncology, AstraZeneca
Carlos Santos is the Chief Financial Officer in US Oncology of AstraZeneca, a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases, and BioPharmaceuticals. This includes Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology.
Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Santos joined the company in 2015 as area finance director. Previously, he was a director of controlling in LATAM at Merck Serono. Before that, he served as an area CFO of EURMEA at Alcon Laboratories. Earlier in his career, he worked with Nestle Venezuela as a foreign trade manager. Santos earned an MBA in corporate finance from the University of Bristol.
7. Caroline Litchfield
Chief Financial Officer, Merck
Caroline Litchfield is an Executive Vice President and the Chief Financial Officer for Merck, a premier global research-intensive biopharmaceutical company at the forefront of providing innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals around the world. For more than 130 years, Merck has brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. As CFO, Litchfield is responsible for the company’s finance, procurement, and real estate operations. Prior to this role, she served as the company’s treasurer – a position that included responsibility for treasury, tax, and investor relations.
From 2014 to 2018, Litchfield led finance for Human Health, the company’s largest business, overseeing financial operations and reporting in approximately 100 markets. Previously, Litchfield was the vice president and finance lead for the company’s Emerging Markets region, when it was established in 2009, following the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough. She joined Merck in 1990 in its U.K. business and has held a wide range of positions of increasing responsibility in the company’s country, regional, and global finance functions. Litchfield received her BS in mathematics from the University of Leicester and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
8. Sherry Davis
Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Lilly USA and Immunology, Eli Lilly and Company
Sherry Davis is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Lilly USA and Immunology, Eli Lilly and Company. In 2006, Davis joined Lilly as a financial consultant with Lilly Research Laboratories. While at Lilly, she has held several domestic and international roles, including an assignment in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Finance Leader for Access Expansion, which focused on extending the reach of Lilly’s medicines in developing countries.
Most recently, Davis was the CFO and Treasurer of Lilly Del Caribe, in Puerto Rico. Before relocating to Puerto Rico in 2017, Davis served on the advisory boards of Tindley Charter Schools, Indiana University Institute for International Business, and Kelley Alumni Association. Davis was also the Chair of the INCPA Society’s Diversity Council.
9. Matt Symonds
Chief Financial Officer in Vaccine Business Unit, Takeda
Matt Symonds is the Chief Financial Officer for the Vaccine Business Unit of Takeda, a leading values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan. Their employees in approximately 80 countries and regions are grounded in the values that have defined them for more than two centuries. Today, Takeda is focused on creating better health for people and a brighter future for the world. They aim to discover and deliver life-transforming treatments in their core therapeutic and business areas, including gastrointestinal and inflammation, rare diseases, plasma-derived therapies, oncology, neuroscience, and vaccines.
Symonds began his career in 1995. Before joining Takeda, he was an Associate Director of Finance at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Before that, he served as a VP at Ferghana Partners. Earlier in his career, he worked with Adherex Technologies as an intellectual property manager. Symonds graduated from McGill University with an MS in experimental surgery and an undergraduate degree in anatomy. He also graduated from Duke University with an MBA in health sector management.
10. Zvi Albert
Chief Financial Officer, SUN PHARMA US
Zvi Albert began his professional career 25 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Financial Officer at SUN PHARMA US, the world's 4th largest specialty generic pharmaceutical company – and the No. 1 in India. The company provides high-quality, affordable medicines that are trusted by customers and patients in over 100 countries. Sun Pharma's global presence is supported by more than 40 manufacturing facilities spread across 5 continents, R&D centers across the globe, and a multicultural workforce comprising over 50 nationalities. Notably, Sun Pharma fosters excellence through innovation supported by strong R&D capabilities comprising around 2,000 scientists and R&D investments of over 7-8% of annual revenues.
Albert got his start in 1998 as the head of U.S. finance and administration at Thrombogenics. From there, he went on to Hoffmann-La Roche, before eventually rising to plant controller at General Chemical, his most recent position before joining SUN PHARMA US. Albert graduated from Rutgers University in Newark with an MBA in finance. He also graduated from Purdue University with an undergraduate degree in engineering.
11. Andrew Dickinson
Chief Financial Officer, Gilead Sciences
Andrew Dickinson serves as Gilead's Chief Financial Officer, responsible for the oversight of the company’s global finance, corporate development, information technology, operations, and strategy organizations. He joined Gilead in 2016. Prior to his current role, he served as head of the company’s corporate development and strategy group. In that role, Dickinson drove all of Gilead’s licensing, partnership, and acquisition transactions. He also guided investments into new areas.
Before his tenure at Gilead, Dickinson was the Global Co-Head of Healthcare Investment Banking at Lazard. Earlier in his career, he served as General Counsel and Vice President of Corporate Development at Myogen, which was acquired by Gilead in 2006. Dickinson received his bachelor’s in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder; and his law degree from Loyola University of Chicago.
12. Thomas Castellano
Chief Financial Officer, Abzena
As the Chief Financial Officer for Abzena, Thomas Castellano oversees his company’s global finance and fiscal health. Notably, Castellano has primary responsibility for planning, implementing, managing, and running all of the finance activities at Abzena. To that end, he manages the company’s capital investments, investor relations, and partnership compliance with Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe (WCAS). Castellano joined Abzena from Catalent, where he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Castellano has over 20 years of corporate finance and capital market experience, having held positions of increasing responsibility. This includes the Vice President of Finance, Investor Relations, Treasurer, and Global Vice President of Operational Finance at Catalent. His experience also spans finance partnerships on the execution of company growth strategy and membership of Executive Leadership Teams. Castellano began his career at Cendant Corporation and Lehman Brothers. He holds a BS in finance and an MBA, both from Seton Hall University.
13. Marc Belsky
Chief Financial Officer, Kezar Life Sciences
Marc Belsky has held CFO positions in both public and private companies. He led an IPO at Kezar Life Sciences, Inc., where he currently serves as its Chief Financial Officer, and at Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc., where he served as its Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Before that, he served as Chief Accounting Officer at Cell Genesys, Inc., Chief Financial Officer at Active Aero Group, Inc., Chief Financial Officer at DataWave Systems Inc., and in roles of increasing financial and strategic responsibility at Michigan National Corporation.
Belsky began his career as an accountant at Coopers & Lybrand where he earned his certified public accountant designation. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in
accounting from Wayne State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan.
14. Glenn Whaley
Chief Financial Officer, Immunic Therapeutics
Glenn Whaley joined Immunic Therapeutics in 2019, bringing with him more than 30 years of experience in accounting and finance. As Chief Financial Officer, he has been invaluable to the smooth running of his company’s U.S. operations. Immunic is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a pipeline of selective oral immunology therapies focused on treating chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Whaley joined Immunic as Principal Accounting Officer and Controller in December 2019.
In April 2020, he was promoted to Vice President of Finance, Principal Financial and Accounting Officer. Before joining Immunic, he held roles of increasing responsibility at specialty pharmaceuticals company, Pernix Therapeutics, most recently serving as Vice President of Finance. Previously, Whaley was Vice President of Finance for Alvogen, a global pharmaceutical company. In addition, he has served in various key financial roles in the telecommunications industry. Whaley holds a BS from Rutgers University Business School. He is also a member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
15. Ryan Jones
Chief Financial Officer, Kyverna Therapeutics
Ryan Jones is the Chief Financial Officer at Kyverna Therapeutics. He joined Kyverna in 2018, bringing with him extensive industry experience in healthcare and life sciences. Before joining Kyverna, Jones was an investment professional on the New Business Creation team at GE Ventures, where he focused on launching and financing new companies in cell engineering and healthcare technologies. Before joining GE Ventures, Jones led the technical development and launch of multiple next-generation DNA sequencing products as a Staff Engineer at Thermo Fisher Scientific (Life Technologies, Ion Torrent division).
Prior to that, he was a Staff Scientist on the founding team at Nanosense, a DARPA-funded biosensor company. Notably, Jones is a co-inventor on five issued patents in biosensors and DNA sequencing. He has also served as a Board Observer for multiple companies founded by GE Ventures, including Menlo Microsystems, Vineti, Drawbridge Health, and Evidation Health. Jones holds a bachelor’s in Biophysics and History from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
16. Patricia Dalfo
Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, Hanford Pharmaceuticals
Patricia Dalfo is the Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of Hanford Pharmaceuticals, which is one of the most respected contract manufacturers specializing in sterile filling of injectable antibiotics in the U.S. Hanford has produced private-label and generic antibiotics for many of the world’s great pharmaceutical corporations – efficient production at unsurpassed quality. In addition to being a contract manufacturer, Hanford also provides superior product development and support services to pharmaceutical companies of every size and function.
The company offers value-added consultative and hands-on services throughout all stages of a drug’s life cycle, from product development through commercial scale-up assistance. Dalfo joined the company in 1987. She earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Le Moyne College.
17. Tony Cords
Chief Financial Officer, Quincy Bioscience
Tony Cords is the Chief Financial Officer of Quincy Bioscience. Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Quincy is a biotechnology company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel technologies to support cognitive function and other normal health challenges associated with aging. The company is set apart by its cutting-edge applications of apoaequorin, which was originally discovered in jellyfish and is now patented by Quincy for use in a variety of products to support cognitive function.
Prevagen® is the company’s flagship consumer brand containing apoaequorin; and is now the best-selling brain health supplement in chain pharmacies across America, according to Nielsen data. An industry veteran, Cords began his career in 1990. Before joining Quincy Bioscience, he was the CFO at STI Holdings. Before that, he served as CFO at Universal Acoustic & Emission Technologies. Earlier in his career, he worked with KPMG as an audit and staff accountant. Cords graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an MBA and from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
18. Michael Gutch
Chief Financial Officer, Noema Pharma
Mike Gutch joined Noema Pharma as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in March 2022. Noema is a clinical-stage biotech company targeting debilitating central nervous system (CNS) disorders characterized by imbalanced neuronal networks. The company has a well-differentiated pipeline with four mid-clinical-stage therapeutic product candidates in-licensed from Roche. Before Noema Pharma, Gutch served as Chief Business Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Entasis Therapeutics. Before that, he served as Executive Director within AstraZeneca’s Corporate Development group, where he was responsible for mergers and acquisitions, divestments, and strategic equity investments.
Gutch also has experience as both a corporate and private venture capital investor as a Managing Director of MedImmune Ventures, a Director with H.I.G. BioVentures, and a Principal with Lilly Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Eli Lilly & Company. While at Eli Lilly, Gutch was also in the Corporate Financing and Investment Banking group, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions and licensing transactions. Gutch earned his PhD in cellular and molecular pathology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was also a post-doctoral research fellow at both UCSF and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. On top of that, he earned his MBA in finance from Indiana University. In addition to his current CFO duties, Gutch serves as a member of the Board of Directors at Albireo Pharma.
19. Jon Nunez
Chief Financial Officer, Canopy Biosciences
Jon Nunez began his professional career 35 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Financial Officer of Canopy Biosciences, a company that empowers innovation by providing access to cutting-edge spatial biology and multi-omic tools so biomedical researchers can drive scientific discovery faster. The company’s proprietary platform ChipCytometry™ is an image-based high-plex proteomics instrument for spatial biology research that allows you to quantify virtually unlimited protein biomarkers on a sample with true single-cell resolution. The company also offers services for gene expression profiling.
Founded in 2016, Canopy is headquartered in St. Louis, MO. It also maintains offices and laboratories in Hayward, CA – as well as in Hannover and Leipzig, Germany. Nunez got his start in 1988 as a CPA at Bergman, Schraier & Co., P.C. From there, he went on to Kellwood Company, before eventually rising to Business Unit Manager at Horizon Discovery, his most recent position before joining Canopy. Nunez graduated from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis with an undergraduate degree in accounting and finance.
20. Larry Dalesandro
Chief Financial Officer, Genus Lifesciences Inc.
Larry Dalesandro is the Chief Financial Officer of Genus Lifesciences, a specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of generic and branded pharmaceutical products. Founded in 1999, Genus Lifesciences employs over one hundred professionals in all phases of pharmaceutical operations, and its products are available in pharmacies and other retail outlets throughout the U.S.
In addition to its local presence, Genus Lifesciences has ongoing research efforts through global partnerships related to its technology platforms. Dalesandro joined the company in 2008. Previously, he was a CFO at Concorde. Before that, he served as EVP, CFO, and COO at Lannett Co. Earlier in his career, he worked with Grant Thornton LLP as a senior accountant. Dalesandro earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Villanova University.
21. Todd Knapp
Chief Financial Officer, Innovive
At Innovive, Todd Knapp is the Chief Financial Officer. Innovive was founded in 2004 to radically transform the economics and convenience of working with laboratory animals. Today, they are one of the fastest-growing companies and a recognized leader in single-use rodent housing, with more than 500 installations worldwide. As a U.S.-based technology company, they serve the global laboratory research market with products and services that allow animal research facilities to dedicate more efforts toward scientific discovery.
Innovive’s patented Single-use IVC Rodent Caging System empowers the husbandry industry with the option of eliminating traditional cage wash operations, freeing up capital funding, space, time, labor, utilities, and other valuable resources. Knapp began his career in 1997. Before joining Innovive, he was a VP of finance and administration at Explora BioLabs. Before that, he served as a VP of finance at Verve. Earlier in his career, he worked with Arthur Andersen as a senior auditor. Knapp graduated from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
22. Noah Clauser
Chief Financial Officer, Astria Therapeutics, Inc.
Noah Clauser has served as the Chief Financial Officer of Astria Therapeutics since September 2020. Previously, he was the company’s Vice President of Finance, leading its finance and operations functions since August 2017. In addition, Clauser served as Astria Therapeutics’s Senior Director, Finance, and Controller from January 2016 to July 2017.
He also served as the company’s Controller from April 2011 to December 2015. Before joining Astria (formerly Catabasis), Clauser was at Impress Software, an enterprise software company, where he served as Accounting Manager from 2005 to 2009. Clauser is a licensed CPA in Massachusetts and holds an MS in accounting and a BS in management from the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
23. Marisa Frackman
Chief Financial Officer, Sapience Therapeutics, Inc.
Marisa Frackman is the Chief Financial Officer at Sapience Therapeutics. A seasoned financial executive, she has 18 years of biotechnology capital markets experience. Most recently, Frackman served as Managing Director at ICR Westwicke within the Healthcare Capital Markets Advisory team. Prior to ICR Westwicke, Frackman spent 15 years in investment banking. As Director of the Equity Capital Markets team at Wells Fargo Securities, she was responsible for the origination, structuring, and execution of equity financing transactions for clients across the healthcare sector. In this capacity, Frackman executed active bookrun transactions ranging in size from $20 million to $5 billion. She also played a key role in growing the firm’s biotechnology franchise.
Frackman began her Wall Street career as a member of the Healthcare Investment Banking group at Deutsche Bank Securities, where she gained experience in both strategic and financing transactions for public and private companies. During her years as an investment banker, she executed more than 250 equity offerings, which raised more than $90 billion in aggregate. Frackman graduated, cum laude, from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University with a major in finance and a minor in English.
24. Rob Middlebrook
Chief Financial Officer, Cerevance
Rob Middlebrook began his professional career 31 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Financial Officer of Cerevance, a company that is focused on the development of treatments for central nervous system (CNS) disorders, with a focus on neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Using an extensive and growing collection of over 14,000 human brain tissue samples, Cerevance is generating an unprecedented catalog of the most promising targets for next-generation treatments.
Middlebrook got his start in 1992 as an SVP at Fidelity Investments. From there, he went on to Perlegen Sciences, before eventually rising to CFO at Envoy Therapeutics, his most recent position before joining Cerevance. Middlebrook graduated from Harvard Business School with an MBA in finance and from Bucknell University with an undergraduate degree in business administration and management.
25. Tiago Girao
Chief Financial Officer, Proteovant Therapeutics
Tiago Girao is the Chief Financial Officer of Proteovant Therapeutics, a company that exploits the ubiquitin-protease system (UPS) to discover and develop transformative medicines for the treatment of patients with life-altering diseases. Proteovant integrates its degrader drug-hunting expertise, MOPED™ molecular glue screening platform, and external partnerships to advance novel protein degraders across a range of therapeutic areas.
Girao joined the company in 2021. Previously, he was a CFO at Respivant Sciences. Before that, he served as CFO and SVP of operations at Cytori Therapeutics. Earlier in his career, he worked with Ernst & Young as a senior associate. Girao earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from the Universidade de Fortaleza.