Eli Lilly’s diabetes division head Mike Mason will retire at the end of 2023 after four years in the position. The company veteran will be replaced by immunology chief Patrik Jonsson in one of several executive changes the Indianapolis-based drugmaker announced Wednesday.
The shake-ups, which also affect leadership in research, corporate affairs and customer service, come as Lilly’s newest diabetes drug Mounjaro is set for rapid growth with an expected Food and Drug Administration approval as a weight loss treatment.
Lilly, which has seen its valuation soar with a string of clinical and commercial successes, could become a leader in treating Alzheimer’s disease, too, should its biologic drug donanemab win an FDA nod later this year.
Yet, the pharma has also experienced some recent setbacks, with the FDA rejecting two experimental inflammation drugs this year due to manufacturing problems.
Jonsson’s immunology role will be added to the responsibilities of science chief Daniel Skovronsky. Jonsson served as chief customer officer as well, a role that will now be filled by Jennifer Oleksiw, the current chief consumer experience officer. Oleksiw will report to CEO David Ricks.
Below Skovronsky, oncology chief medical officer David Hyman will take on that same role for the entirety of the company. In inflammation, Mark Genovese will assume the position of senior vice president and lead mid- and late-stage clinical development. Genovese most recently served a similar role at Gilead Sciences and before that was on the faculty at Stanford University.
A 34-year veteran of Lilly, Mason held roles in the drugmaker’s neurosciences and diabetes divisions. He took his most recent position after the departure of Enrique Conterno, who later became CEO of the biotechnology company FibroGen.
“I have worked with Mike throughout most of my career at Lilly and can attest to the broad and positive impact he has had on our company," Ricks said in a statement. "He's a true enterprise leader who leaves behind an enduring legacy that reflects his deep passion for patients and commitment to our people.”
Lilly reported $29 billion in sales in 2022 and $15 billion through the first six months of 2023.