INC Research CEO James Ogle, who has built the Raleigh company into a major player in the contract research organization industry, plans to step aside at the end of this year.
Privately held INC, which helps drug makers manage clinical trials, announced Thursday that Ogle will be succeeded as CEO by Jamie Macdonald, currently chief operating officer, as of Jan. 1. Ogle, who took over at INC nine years ago, will remain chairman of the company.
Macdonald joined INC last year when the business more than doubled in size by acquiring Kendle, a publicly traded company based in Cincinnati, for $232 million in cash. Macdonald was chief operating officer at Kendle and continued in that role at INC.
Ogle, who is 68, said that its a good time to put the company in the hands of younger leadership, now that Kendle has been successfully integrated into INC. He added that he worked closely with Macdonald during the integration process and was so impressed that he recommended to the board of directors that Macdonald was the right person to succeed him.
He called Macdonald a proven, exceptional leader.
Macdonald, 44, said that although tweaks in the companys business strategy are inevitable in response to changes in the market, he doesnt foresee major changes.
I think the business has grown extremely well, he said.
INC has expanded from 225 employees when Ogle took over the business to 4,800 today, including 700 in Raleigh and a total of 927 across North Carolina. The company, which doesnt disclose its revenue, ranks sixth in the CRO industry.
The Triangle is a major hub of the CRO industry, which is led by Durham-based Quintiles.
Connection to Quintiles
In fact, Macdonald is a Quintiles alumnus. Before joining Kendle he had a number of executive positions at Quintiles, including senior vice president and head of global project management.
Macdonald has lived in Chapel Hill since 2005 and also lived in the Triangle from 1998 to 2003. He joined Kendle last year just two days before the deal with INC was announced.
I knew there was a transaction likely to happen and that was ... part of my interest in joining Kendle, Macdonald said.
We were fortunate enough to be acquired by INC and really have had the benefit of establishing a much larger, broader and more capable organization and that has been under Jims leadership.
Macdonald is a native of Scotland and has a bachelors degree in economics from Heriot-Watt University.
Macdonald will be succeeded as chief operating officer by Alistair Macdonald, currently INCs president of clinical development services. He joined INC in 2002.
There is no linkage that we can see between Alistair and myself, Jamie Macdonald said when asked about their identical surnames. But, he joked, Were doing a bit of genetic testing, just to be sure.