Roche has named a new leader for its pharmaceuticals division, announcing Thursday the promotion of Teresa Graham, currently a product strategy executive at the Swiss drugmaker, to replace Bill Anderson, who left in December.
The appointment is one of several recent changes in Roche’s top executive ranks. Anderson’s exit came several months after the pharma company announced its long-serving CEO Severin Schwan would step down in March. Current diagnostics chief Thomas Schinecker will succeed Schwan and Graham will report to him from then on.
Also on Thursday, Roche said that chief medical officer Levi Garraway will join Graham on an enlarged corporate executive committee.
Graham rose through the ranks at Roche-owned Genentech, which she joined in 2005. In 2017, she relocated to Roche’s Basel, Switzerland-based headquarters and took on her current role as head of global product strategy for Roche Pharmaceuticals.
“Teresa Graham is a great leader with strong followership,” said Schinecker, in a statement. “She brings strategic and scientific acumen with an excellent track record of performance. I am pleased that a person of her caliber will be our new Pharma CEO.”
As head of Roche Pharmaceuticals, Graham will be tasked with ensuring sales of Roche’s slate of newer medicines grow quickly enough to offset fading revenue from cancer drugs Herceptin, Rituxan and Avastin, which have long powered the company’s business.
Pharmaceutical sales in 2022 were 2% higher than in 2021 on a constant exchange rate basis, reaching 45.6 billion Swiss francs, or nearly $50 billion, Roche said Thursday. The company has increasingly been relying on growth from its multiple sclerosis medicine Ocrevus, hemophilia drug Hemlibra and cancer treatment Tecentriq. More recently approved drugs like Evrysdi, for spinal muscular atrophy, and Vabysmo, for age-related macular degeneration, also notched strong revenue gains in the fourth quarter.
Counterbalancing that growth has been declining sales from medicines and diagnostics used for COVID-19, which were $1 billion lower in 2022 than in 2021. Moving forward, Roche expects COVID-19 product sales to decline further. The slowdown is weighing on the company’s overall sales growth, which is expected to drop by low single digits in 2023.
Christopher Newman contributed writing.