It’s been days since Moderna sent its new chief financial officer Jorge Gomez to pack – after just a day’s work – following an investigation launched by his former employer. Although this investigation was launched in March, Moderna says it had no idea until last week.
Moderna said Terminal News Monday that he was unaware of the Dentsply investigation involving Gomez until it became public on May 10. The news, first reported by the The Wall Street Journal, comes just five days after Dentsply announced an investigation into “certain financial reporting matters” related to Gomez’s time at the dental equipment company.
Investigators are studying “the use of incentives to sell products to distributors during the third and fourth quarters of 2021, and whether these incentives were properly accounted for and whether the impact of these sales was properly disclosed in the company’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission,” according to a Dentsply filing with the SEC.
The company is also assessing whether “certain former and current senior executives” used incentives and other actions to meet executive compensation goals last year, according to the filing.
Within an hour of learning of the investigation, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel met with the company’s chief legal officer, chairman of the board and an outside advisor to discuss and schedule a meeting with the company. entire board, the biotech told Endpoints.
“At its meeting, the board decided that it was appropriate to separate Mr. Gomez from Moderna,” a company spokesperson said. “Mr. Gomez was immediately informed of this decision.
The following day, Moderna announced that Gomez was leaving the company, effective immediately. David Meline, Gomez’s predecessor, will take over the role of chief financial officer while Moderna will reinitiate its search for a new replacement, Moderna said.
Despite the end result, Moderna defended their decision to hire Gomez and their quick action to let him go. The company announced in April that it was adding Gomez to the team, just hours after Covid-19 vaccine rival Pfizer named its new chief financial officer.
“The May 11, 2022 announcement and the departure of Jorge Gomez from Moderna strongly reflect the seriousness with which Moderna takes corporate governance,” a spokesperson said. “We are satisfied that Moderna performed all appropriate due diligence on this matter prior to hiring Mr. Gomez, based on the information available.”
Gomez leaves with $700,000 in severance pay, which equals one year’s salary. However, Moderna could terminate or suspend his severance package and seek a refund if the Dentsply investigation finds him guilty of any wrongdoing, according to an SEC filing.
The former chief financial officer did not respond to a request for comment.