Gaithersburg’s Novavax Names John C. Jacobs as New President & Chief Executive Officer

by MCS Staff
  • Current President & CEO Stanley C. Erck will retire effective January 23 with plans to support the leadership transition in an advisory capacity
  • Novavax is well-positioned to execute on its strategy, with global authorizations for its COVID-19 vaccine and continued clinical pipeline development

Gaithersburg-based Novavax, a biotechnology company dedicated to developing and commercializing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, announced that John C. Jacobs will succeed Stanley C. Erck as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. The transition will be effective as of January 23, 2023. Mr. Erck will serve as an advisor to the Company for the next fifteen months to enable a smooth transition.

Per the press release: “As we prepare for Stan’s retirement, the Board reflects on the incredible legacy he leaves behind,” said James F. Young, PhD, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Stan led Novavax from a clinical development organization to a global commercial vaccines company during a worldwide pandemic. This foundation puts Novavax in a strong position to execute on its long-term strategy, and we look forward to supporting Stan and John through the transition. John is a seasoned industry leader who will bring a fresh perspective and deep industry expertise to Novavax.”

Mr. Jacobs brings more than 25 years of commercial, operations, business and leadership experience across multiple therapeutic areas. He will join Novavax from Harmony Biosciences, where he has served as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors since June 2018, and Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer from October 2017 to June 2018. Notably, Mr. Jacobs led the company through a successful IPO and led its first product through FDA review, approval and commercialization. Prior to joining Harmony, Mr. Jacobs held leadership roles at Teva Pharmaceuticals beginning in 2014, including Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Respiratory Business Unit, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations in North America and General Manager of Teva in Canada. Mr. Jacobs has also held positions of increasing scope and responsibility at major pharmaceutical companies including Cephalon, Wyeth and Pfizer. He received a B.S. in business from State University of New York College at Plattsburgh and an M.B.A. from The State University of New York at Binghamton.

“I am grateful to Stan for the foundation that he has built and am honored to join Novavax in advancing its important global and public health mission,” said Mr. Jacobs. “I look forward to working with the team and helping to build on the accomplishments and business foundation that have been established over the past several years.”

Mr. Jacobs will work in close partnership with Mr. Erck during the transition. Mr. Erck was named President and CEO in April 2011 and was responsible for bringing the company’s COVID-19 vaccine, its first commercial product, to market in over 40 countries around the world and for achieving Emergency Use Listing with the World Health Organization. Under his leadership, Novavax created a manufacturing and supply network to support global distribution of its COVID-19 vaccine and advanced its late-stage pipeline with both stand-alone influenza and COVID-19-influenza combination vaccine candidates. His efforts transformed the company into a truly global organization with a footprint in the Americas, Europeand Asia Pacific regions.

“My experience at Novavax, especially leading the company in the global pandemic response, has been the highlight of my 40-year career as a biotechnology leader,” said Mr. Erck. “I’m grateful for the tireless efforts of our employees, the support of the Board and the continued commitment from our key partners in our quest to protect the health of people everywhere. I look forward to supporting John and the company during the leadership transition.”


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