John Martin, the former CEO of Gilead Sciences, has died, the New York Times reports. He was 69.
Martin, a trained chemist, joined Gilead in 1990, and moved from its research director to chief executive in six years, according to the Times. He served as CEO from 1996 to 2016, and was executive chairman from 2016 until his 2018 retirement. During his tenure, the Times says that Martin transformed Gilead from a firm with 35 employees to one with 12,000 employees and worth $100 billion. The firm developed a one-a-day pill called Atripla that combined HIV therapies into an easier-to-take format, Sovaldi that essentially cures hepatitis C, and Tamiflu to treat the flu, it adds.
However, the Times notes that that success came with criticism on the prices the company charged, especially for its HIV and hepatitis C treatments — they cost about $1,000 per pill. It adds that Martin defended the cost, saying that the price enables the funding of future research.