The Situation

Cavenagh Health were retained by a leading European VC who made a significant investment in an asset developed by a university. With a sizeable investment they needed a CEO that their ambitions of taking an asset through to clinical proof of concept and lead a successful commercial event for the investors to see a return on investment. The CEO would also be the first hire into the company, with the scientific co-founders staying in the university. 

With a deep and established network at a CEO level in early stage biotechs across Europe, UK and USA, the challenge when taking on these roles is being able to access individuals who are normally inaccessible and being able to present a compelling reason to continue conversations. 

Our Approach

In searching for the right incumbent, we ran a full executive search process mapping companies and then individuals who have gone through successful exits in a CEO capacity within rapidly developing biotechs as our tier one candidate pool. With individuals who have completed a series B fundraise in excess of €20M and completed an IPO in European or American listing at an advantage. 

The Result

Candidate Shortlist Presented – 6 Weeks

Consisting of five candidates, three CEOs from different backgrounds (CSO, CMO and GM/CCO), followed by a further two from a CBO background. 

The CEO appointed was an individual who had acquired an asset and then developed it through to regulatory approval via the FDA and raised in excess of €100M from VCs and IPO on that journey. 

The CEO has had such an immediate impact in professionalising and building the company brand that within 6 months of starting they have now taken on two further board positions within the VCs portfolio.

Nick Ross

Author Nick Ross

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