Sanford-Burnham’s CEO Sees Incredible Opportunity in Move to Roche

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worst is now behind them,” and he doesn’t anticipate any further cutbacks. “Now is a good opportunity to bring in a new leader and to provide some stability and to move the team forward,” Reed said.

As for leadership at the Sanford-Burnham, Reed voiced his confidence in Kristiina Vuori, a Finnish cancer researcher who joined the institute in 1992 and who is now president and director of the institute’s cancer center. Vuori told me she and Reed were recruited at the same time by Reed’s predecessor, Erkki Ruoslahti, who also was educated in Finland.

Even though he named Vuori as president three years ago, when he separated the duties of the institute’s CEO and president, Reed said what’s happening is not a planned leadership transition. “We were preparing for this, but there was not a formal plan in place,” he explained.

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Kristiina Vuroi

When I asked if the board had formed a CEO search committee, Vuori said the board is finalizing their plan on how to proceed. Vuori, who has been overseeing development of the institute’s next 10-year plan, said that also would be coming before the board’s next meeting in March.

“It’s a bittersweet departure,” Vuori said. “John’s departure is definitely a loss. But hopefully it’s a win at the same time. It’s a kudo for the institute that he’s taking such a prestigious position, and I do hope that we all keep those connections…” Reed agreed, saying, “I suspect we’ll find some new opportunities between Roche and the Sanford-Burnham.”


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