Rise of the first-time biotech CEO

The management crunch in biotech is creating a heyday for first-time CEOs

A shortage of management talent is creating opportunities for more first-time CEOs to experience the top job. While this could open the door to more diverse executive teams, there’s no sign of that happening organically.

Skyrocketing company formation has made seasoned leaders a rate-limiting commodity. VCs talk of the headache in putting together the right management team, which is often a major determinant of success.

The problem isn’t limited to newcos. Established companies feed from the same pool of candidates, and have to contend with a high global turnover rate -- about 20% according to HR consulting firm Radford -- meaning that they cannot rely on a steady supply of internal talent to fill executive vacancies.

“What I see is this amazing number of companies popping up, but not necessarily are people able to find experienced C-level people who have operated in a small business environment and really understand the challenges of being of a CEO”, said Sandy Zweifach, co-founder and former CEO of

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