Aerie Pharmaceuticals announced the appointments of new employees Gary Menichini as Vice President of Sales, Dale Seibt as Vice President of Market Access, and Gerry McKenzie as Vice President of Commercial Operations. In addition, Michael McCleerey has changed positions within the company and is now Vice President of Portfolio Development. All four positions are newly established and will report to Judith Robertson, Chief Commercial Officer.
In his role as Vice President of Sales, Mr. Menichini will head all product sales activities. Previously, he was Vice President and Head of Commercial at Genoptix, a Novartis company, and prior to that served as Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Pharmaceuticals at Alcon Laboratories. Mr. Menichini’s role at Alcon Laboratories included broad commercial responsibility for a large array of ophthalmology products including glaucoma, dry eye, anti-infectives, and anti-inflammatories.
In his role as Vice President of Market Access, Mr. Seibt will lead activities associated with the full spectrum of payor reimbursement. His most recent prior experience was as Head of Market Access, U.S. Pharmaceuticals at Alcon Laboratories, a position he held since 2010. In total, Mr. Seibt has nearly 20 years of market access experience in the ophthalmology industry.
In his role as Vice President of Commercial Operations, Mr. McKenzie will lead the operational functions in support of the field sales organization, including sales reporting, business analysis, sales force targeting and deployment, and third party logistics management. He brings over 20 years of commercial operations experience at Allergan, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations and Business Practice Management.
Mr. McCleerey’s new role as Vice President of Portfolio Development includes responsibility for evaluating the commercial potential of products in the pipeline, as well as the potential associated with geographic expansion beyond the United States, with a strong marketing focus in close collaboration with other functions in the company, such as Business Development, Clinical, and Research and Development. This position is designed to provide a broad marketing perspective on the many potential growth opportunities the company will be exploring on an ongoing basis.
In connection with the acceptance of their positions as Vice President of Sales, Vice President of Market Access, and Vice President of Commercial Operations, Mr. Menichini, Mr. Seibt and Mr. McKenzie on a combined basis will receive awards totaling 145,500 stock options and 10,000 shares of restricted stock. The stock options will vest over 4 years, with 25% vesting on the first anniversary of the hire date and the remainder vesting ratably on each of the subsequent 36 monthly anniversaries of the hire date; the restricted stock will vest over a period of 4 years in four equal annual installments on each anniversary of the hire date. These awards were made outside of Aerie’s stockholder-approved equity incentive plan and were approved by the company’s Compensation Committee as an inducement material to Mr. Menichini, Mr. Seibt and Mr. McKenzie entering into employment with the company in reliance on NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4), which requires this public announcement.
“Aerie is building a strong commercial team, and we are pleased to announce the addition of these seasoned leaders, each possessing successful track records in the ophthalmology industry. At all levels, our team is focused on expanding our product portfolio and preparing for the potential launch of our current product candidates,” Vicente Anido, Jr., PhD, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said in a company news release.