MedImmune Inc. said yesterday that Wayne T. Hockmeyer, who founded the company in 1988 and guided it to profitability and a market value of nearly $13.5 billion, will step aside as chief executive officer at year's end.
Hockmeyer, 55, will remain chairman, and the Gaithersburg company will retain familiar faces in top executive roles.
Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer David M. Mott, 55, who has been with the biotechnology company in various roles since 1992, will become chief executive, while President and Chief Operating Officer Melvin D. Booth, 34, will remain in those positions.
"David has contributed immensely to the growth and success of MedImmune over the past eight years and the time has come for him to step into the chief executive role," Hockmeyer said in a statement.
Hockmeyer said he "will remain deeply committed to the future success of the company" and will continue to work with Mott on strategic matters.
MedImmune, which was catapulted to profitability by a drug called Synagis that fights respiratory infections in infants, opened a $50 million manufacturing plant in Frederick late last year and has a total of about 700 employees.
The company has six drugs on the market. They include RespiGam - also designed to fight respiratory infection in children - and CytoGam, designed to fight infection in kidney-transplant patients. MedImmune also markets two treatments for cancer patients, as well as one for AIDS and other patients with compromised immune systems who suffer from a certain kind of pneumonia.
Its shares closed yesterday at $64.625, up $4.625.