Ins & Outs Special: Lonza bags CEO from rival CDMO

Wolfgang Wienand will take command of Lonza as Albert Baehny retires. Welcome to BioProcess Insider’s recruitment roundup.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

April 4, 2024

2 Min Read
c/o Lonza

Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza has appointed Wienand as CEO, and he is set to join the company by mid-2024.

Wolfgang moves to Lonza from Siegfried Holding AG, where he has led the firm since 2019. With 10+ years of experience, he has previously served as chief scientific officer and then as chief strategy officer at Siegfried.

“Wolfgang Wienand has proven leadership experience as CEO of Siegfried and a strong track record of success. During his tenure at Siegfried, he has overseen the growth of its global network and delivered value for shareholders. We are excited for him to join Lonza and lead the company through its next chapter of growth,” a spokesperson for Lonza told BioProcess Insider.

Wolfgang will succeed Baehny, who took on the additional responsibility of CEO on interim basis in October 2023. Baehny will remain at Lonza for a transition period during the summer, before retiring from the company.

“The immediate focus will be on a smooth transition period, business continuity and the continued execution of our long-term strategy. Albert will remain at Lonza for a transition period during the summer to oversee the onboarding of both the new chairman and the new CEO, before retiring from Lonza,” the spokesperson said.

Although the firm refused to comment on Wienand, the spokesperson confirmed that he will join Lonza in the summer of this year, and the date of his appointment will be communicated in due course.

While the strategy going forward is "too early to discuss" the spokesperson said, “Wienand is aligned with the long-term strategy set out at Lonza’s Capital Markets Day.”

In October 2023, Lonza outlined its strategy for 2024 to 2028, highlighting innovation, collaboration, service delivery, operational excellence, continuous improvement, and disciplined capital allocation as the firm’s key strategic priorities.

The firm’s executive leadership has had a turbulent past with the sudden departure of previous CEO Mark Funk. Funk left the firm in 2019 after only nine months as CEO. This was followed by the appointment of Pierre-Alain Ruffieux in November 2020. However, owing to ‘the Board’s loss of confidence,’ Ruffieux left the CDMO in September last year.

In February 2024, Lonza appointed Jean-Marc Huët as its chairman. Huët joined the firm from Heineken, and succeeded Baehny. At the time of announcement, the CDMO confirmed, that Baehny, who was named as the chairman of the CDMO some six years ago and has been a board member for seven years, will not be standing for re-election at the firm’s annual general meeting (AGM) in May 2024, but would remain CEO ad interim of Lonza.

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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