Abraxis BioScience, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABBI), an integrated, global biopharmaceutical company, today named its executive committee and seven officers to its executive management team: Richard E. Maroun as chief administrative officer; Thomas H. Silberg as executive vice president, commercial operations & operational excellence; John F. Weidenbruch as general counsel and assistant corporate secretary; Bruce Wendel as executive vice president, corporate development; and Ronald E. Pauli as interim chief financial officer. Frank Harmon, as announced in a separate release, has joined the company as executive vice president, global operations. Nicole S. Williams, who has served as chief financial officer and president of the Abraxis Pharmaceutical Products (APP) division, will retire from APP to pursue other opportunities. Carlo Montagner continues as President of Abraxis Oncology. These seven executives will form the Executive Committee of Abraxis BioScience.
"I was very grateful that we were able to induce Nicole out of retirement in 2002 to provide leadership in building our finance department and implementing SAP. Nicole has been an invaluable asset to our company and I would like to thank her for all of her hard work and dedication over the last four years. She has played a key role in building a strong organization that allows us to move forward and enact upon our growth strategy. We will miss her, both as a colleague and a friend as she retires from APP to pursue other interests," said Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Abraxis BioScience.
A search has been initiated for both a chief financial officer of Abraxis Bioscience with global corporate experience as well as for the president of the Abraxis Pharmaceutical Products division.
"As we move into our next stage, our executive team brings extensive experience to their roles with Abraxis," continued Soon-Shiong. "Rick and Tom both bring a breadth of experience in strategic development and operations which will be a vital component of the organization as we continue to enact upon our growth strategy both in the U.S. and globally. John has been a trusted advisor since he joined the company and brings an excellent mix of experience in corporate governance, biopharmaceutical regulatory and commercial knowledge, government affairs and strategic planning. Frank's global manufacturing and operations expertise will serve us well as we establish a global footprint for our product portfolio. Bruce brings deep experience in global corporate development as the company enters an inflection point of growth and acquisition. Finally, Ron's deep financial experience with the company will be invaluable as we conduct a search for a permanent corporate CFO."
Maroun, chief administrative officer, has served as general counsel and vice president of corporate development of American BioScience Inc. (ABI) since August 2004. Prior to joining ABI, he served as director at Merrill Lynch in its advisory services business unit for four years. Earlier, Maroun practiced law in Northern California specializing in business and tax matters and was a senior tax manager with Deloitte & Touche. He earned a bachelor of science degree in economics from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, a juris doctorate degree from Santa Clara University and a master of law (L.L.M) degree in taxation from Boston University.
Silberg, executive vice president, commercial operations & operational excellence, joins Abraxis as executive vice president, commercial operations & operational excellence, reporting to Soon-Shiong. In his role, Silberg will be responsible for all North America commercial operations for APP in Schaumburg, Illinois and will oversee operational issues for Abraxis at the corporate headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Most recently, Silberg served as chief operating officer of Tercica, Inc., where his direct responsibilities included regulatory, clinical development, medical affairs, manufacturing, quality assurance/quality control, sales and marketing, business development, and project management. Earlier, he was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer of Ligand Pharmaceuticals after serving as senior vice president of commercial operations. Silberg began his career in 1972 with Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc., where, over a 27-year span he held a variety of positions and rose through the management ranks to vice president of business operations. Silberg earned a bachelor of science degree in marketing and advertising from the University of Minnesota.
Weidenbruch, general counsel and assistant corporate secretary, has served as vice president law, global commercial operations for ABI and acting general counsel for APP and has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Prior to joining Abraxis, Weidenbruch served in numerous positions at Amgen, most recently as senior director, law operations where he was responsible for providing strategic planning on critical issues and supervision of implementation for the law department and corporate communications. In his earlier role as senior associate general counsel - global commercial operations, Weidenbruch led a team of attorneys and support staff in all aspects of the company's sales, marketing and commercialization efforts. At Syntex, he coordinated legislative and regulatory state lobbying efforts affecting the pharmaceutical industry, and developed and implemented business strategies and policies. Previously, he directed state government affairs activities for the Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association in Washington, DC. Weidenbruch earned a juris doctorate degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and a bachelor of arts degree from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD.
Wendel, executive vice president, corporate development, had served as senior vice president, Mergers and Acquisitions of APP since 2004. Wendel began his fourteen years with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) as in-house counsel before shifting to business and corporate development. While at BMS, as vice president Corporate Development International Medicines, he led teams that completed several major acquisitions, divestitures and alliances around the world. Prior to joining APP, he served as vice president Business Development & Licensing for IVAX Corporation where he completed the acquisition of 3M's European respiratory business. Previously, Wendel served in the legal departments of Playtex and Combe. He earned a juris doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law School where he was an editor of Law & Policy in International Business, and a bachelor of science degree from Cornell University.
Pauli, interim chief financial officer, has served as corporate controller of Abraxis BioScience and its predecessor company, APP, since 2002. Earlier, he was vice president, controller and chief financial officer of ERSCO Corporation and, before that, corporate controller of Applied Power, Inc. and R.P. Scherer Corporation. From 1985 to 1996, Pauli rose through the ranks of the finance department at Kmart Corporation. He began his professional career at the accounting firm Ernst & Whinney where Pauli served as a certified public accountant. Pauli earned a bachelor of arts degree in accounting from Michigan State University and a master of science degree in finance from Walsh College, graduating with distinction.
About Abraxis BioScience, Inc.
Abraxis BioScience, Inc. is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to meeting the needs of critically ill patients. The company develops, manufactures and markets one of the broadest portfolios of injectable products and leverages revolutionary technology such as its nab(TM) platform to discover and deliver breakthrough therapeutics that transform the treatment of cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The first FDA approved product to use this nab platform, ABRAXANE(R), was launched in 2005 for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Abraxis trades on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol ABBI. For more information about the company and its products, please visit www.abraxisbio.com.