Moderna has found a replacement for ousted CFO Jorge Gomez, announcing Wednesday that PerkinElmer executive James Mock will be its next finance chief.
The appointment of Mock comes several months after Moderna hired and then quickly fired Gomez from the role after it became known Gomez’ former employer, dental equipment manufacturer Dentsply Sirona, was investigating “certain financial reporting matters.”
Mock has served as CFO at PerkinElmer, a large life sciences and diagnostics firm, since 2018, overseeing several small acquisitions as well as a roughly $5.3 billion takeover of antibody and reagent provider BioLegend last year. On Aug. 1, PerkinElmer announced plans to divest its food and enterprise services division to a private equity firm for almost $2.5 billion.
Prior to PerkinElmer, Mock worked for nearly two decades at General Electric.
Mock joins Moderna at an important time. The biotechnology company, now a household name due to its widely used COVID-19 vaccine, is under pressure to replicate that success and prove its messenger RNA technology can be the backbone of other vaccines and medicines. The company has a sprawling drug development pipeline that accounts for billions of dollars in spending, as well as a rapidly growing headcount to support its COVID-19 vaccine commercialization.
Due to its COVID-19 contracts, Moderna has $18 billion in cash and investments that analysts and investors are eager to see it deploy for acquisitions and other business development.
“Investing in the business is priority number one,” said Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel on the company’s second quarter earnings call earlier this month. “Priority number two is really expanding the platform through partnership, licensing, M&A and then the excess cash we will return to shareholders.”
On the latter front, Moderna recently announced it would dedicate an additional $3 billion to share buybacks, on top of the $3 billion it has already spent.
At PerkinElmer, Mock will be succeeded by Max Krakowiak, currently the company’s vice president of corporate finance.
Mock’s appointment as Moderna CFO will take effect Sept. 6, on which date David Meline will retire as finance head. Meline, who had come out of retirement in 2020 to help run Moderna’s books, stepped back into the role after Gomez was fired in mid-May.
Dentsply Sirona is continuing its investigation into its financial reporting practices under Gomez and on Aug. 9 announced that it had agreed to part ways with its chief accounting officer Ranjit Chadha.