Germany calling as Pack gives way to new CEO at Crescendo
Inspirational CEO Peter Pack has stepped down as CEO of Cambridge life science pioneer Crescendo Biologics to return to Germany and spend more time with his family – handing the reins from May 1 to CFO and chief business officer Theodora Harold.
Crescendo, a drug developer of novel, targeted T-cell enhancing therapeutics, won the Life Science Innovation (Platform) accolade in the Business Weekly Awards on March 20,
Pack advised Business Weekly to follow the fortunes of Harold, who had steered a $70 million fundraising for the business and who was “the biggest management talent I have seen in my nearly 20 years of being a CEO.”
Harold joined Crescendo in October 2016 and has worked in close partnership with Peter Pack in the day-to-day running of the business ever since.
She was central to the recent $70m fund raising and has had responsibility not only for finance and operations but also, more recently, for business development. She has established strong relationships with Crescendo’s development partners.
Before joining the UK company, she held both industry and corporate finance roles with private and listed biotech SMEs including PsiOxus Therapeutics Ltd, MISSION Therapeutics Ltd, OrthoMimetics Ltd and Cytomyx Holdings plc.
Prior to this, she qualified as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and read classics at Trinity College, Cambridge Pack says he will continue to support Crescendo as a senior advisor.
Crescendo non-executive chairman Kevin Johnson said: “Peter Pack has made a significant contribution to Crescendo over the years, both as an investor advising the board and as CEO, where he successfully transitioned the business from a platform company to a developer of multifunctional therapeutics and also steered the $790 million deal with Takeda.
“In that time, he has built a strong team around him – with one of the key elements being Theodora – and he has transformed the business.”
Pack said: “I have been extremely fortunate to work at such an extraordinary company and with the great team at Crescendo. It is now a very different business to the one I joined back in 2015 and I am very proud of what we have achieved together.
“I believe the time is right to step down but I will keep tight links with the British biotech industry.
“I have taken the decision to step down to move back to my family in Heidelberg. Initially starting as VC investor and board observer in early 2014, I became Crescendo’s CEO in 2015 to lead the transition from a transgenic platform company to the developer of multifunctional therapeutics in oncology which it is now.
“This was a very rewarding time for me with the privilege to work in Cambridge, the most important biotech hub for antibody engineering companies in Europe with an unprecedented academic and entrepreneurial history in life science.
“This exciting time, however, did not allow me to see my family in Germany on a regular basis and it is now time for me to move back. After nearly 20 years of being a CEO and managing director in the life science industry I will mainly serve as NED of biotech companies on the continent (PolyPlus Transfection in Strasbourg) as well as in a (yet undisclosed) UK company.”