This article has been updated to include details from conference call and original reporting.
NEW YORK, Dec. 4 - Gaining momentum as it changes shape from a research company to a product company, Millennium Pharmaceuticals today announced the departure of COO and CFO Kevin Starr.
Starr, whom Millennium said will step down to spend more time with his family, will be replaced by Kenneth Bate, an executive with investment-services firm JSB Partners.
Additionally, Millennium announced John Maraganore, senior vice president of strategic product development, will leave to become president and CEO of a new therapeutic RNAi company called Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. The general managers of Millennium's four business franchises who'd until now reported to Maraganore will now report directly to Vaughn Kailian, Millennium's vice chairperson.
The executive changes also include the promotion to president, R&D, of Robert Tepper, Millennium's current CSO. He takes over from Charles Homcy, who has been elected to the board of directors, replacing Ernest Mario. Homcy will continue to work with Millennium as senior research and development advisor, the firm said.
Alnylam, based in Cambridge, Mass., was founded earlier this year by a band of scientists widely held responsible for discovering RNA interference. The company, which so far has raised $17 million in venture capital, has some marquee names on its board, inlcuding Peter Barrett, a Celera cofounder and former chief business officer who now is a senior principal at Atlas Venture Partners, and Phillip Sharp, the Nobel laureate founder of Biogen.