Earlier today, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AUXL) announced that Armando Anido (CEO since Jul-06) had stepped down “after discussions with the company’s Board of Directors.” Anido, who was listed at just 53 years old in the proxy filed 29-Apr-11, also resigned from his position as a director. Adrian Adams, 60, a 30-year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry, was appointed as Anido’s replacement, effective immediately.
Investors largely cheered the leadership change as AUXL rose more than 5% in early trading. Anido had overseen a steady 54% decline in the company’s stock since Apr-10. While those results may have been disappointing, any CEO change, no matter how welcome, creates the risk of potential disruptions as new strategies are adopted. However, the struggling stock likely necessitated the assumption of such risk.
Anido’s departure marks the first change in the company’s executive suite since he replaced Gerri Henwood in Jul-06. CFO and Principal Accounting Officer James Fickenscher has served in both positions since May-05.