Ins & Outs: C-suite exodus in biopharma

Biopharmaceutical giants J&J, Bayer, and Lilly have reported the departures of top executives. Welcome to BioProcess Insider’s recruitment roundup.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

June 19, 2024

3 Min Read

Having served Johnson & Johnson (J&J) since 2007, William Hait (Bill) is set to retire in September 2024, from executive vice president, and chief external innovation and medical officer.

Since joining J&J, he launched the innovative medicine oncology therapeutic area and served as the first global therapeutic area head from 2009 to 2011. After which he headed innovative medicine R&D until 2018. Between 2022 to 2023 Hait was the interim head and oversaw the launch of over 20 new products.

“From his leadership of what now is our innovative medicine R&D organization to his current role, Bill has been pivotal to advancing how Johnson & Johnson combines transformative innovation with a relentless focus on patient care to improve human health, aligned with Our Credo,” said Joaquin Duato, CEO, Johnson & Johnson.

“I’ve had the pleasure, and privilege, of working with Bill for many years and have benefited personally from his wisdom, his relentless pursuit of innovation, and his passion to improve the health of patients everywhere. In addition, his remarkable track record of developing and nurturing talented leaders across our company will leave a legacy that will benefit us, and patients, for many years to come.”

In a heartfelt post on LinkedIn, Hait expressed his appreciation for his colleagues, saying, “I will miss working side-by-side with my J&J colleagues.” He emphasized that it was the right moment for him to step aside for the next generation of leaders, though he remains committed to his passion for making the world a healthier place.


Jens Vogel, senior vice president and global head of biotech at Bayer has bid adieu to the firm after four years. He joined the Germany-based firm in 2020.

“After more than four years of leading and transforming the global biotech organization at Bayer, it’s time for me to move on and pursue new opportunities!” wrote Vogel on LinkedIn.

Leading Bayer's integrated global biotech network, Vogel was responsible for biologics development, operations and product supply, as well as managing strategic functions across sites in the US and Europe. Prior to his tenure at Bayer, he worked for 11 years at Boehringer Ingelheim, holding various leadership roles.

“For the first time in my career, I am now taking a bit of a break, spending quality time with my family starting with a long trip through Southeast Asia, before pursuing a new role. I’m thankful, content and excited about the possibilities. The future awaits!” Vogel shared on LinkedIn.

Eli Lilly

Anat Ashkenzai has resigned as the CFO from Eli Lilly to pursue a career opportunity outside the pharmaceutical industry.

“On behalf of our board of directors, leadership team and employees, I would like to thank Anat for 23 years of outstanding service to our company,” said David Ricks, CEO, Eli Lilly.

“During her last three years as Lilly's CFO, we have experienced tremendous growth and laid the groundwork to help us reach even more patients with our medicines. I want to personally thank Anat for her partnership, friendship, and leadership of our financial organization and to wish her well in her new role."

Previously, Ashkenazi was the senior vice president, controller, and chief financial officer of Lilly Research Laboratories. She also headed the corporate strategy team and the business transformation office and has served as CFO for several of the company's global business divisions.

Ashkenazi will continue to serve until July 2024, while the firm decides on her successor.

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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