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Raleigh CRO INC Research unveils post-acquisition executive team

The CEO of inVentiv Health will take on two roles when the company’s acquisition by INC Research is complete: executive chairman and head of commercial business.

The operational role for Mike Bell was disclosed last week in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing made by Raleigh-based INC. The companies had said Bell would be executive chairman when the deal between INC and its larger Boston-based rival, inVentiv, was announced earlier this month. The deal is valued at $4.6 billion. Bell’s new role was included in a list of more than a half-dozen executives from both companies whose jobs at the combined business were spelled out.

The companies previously announced that INC CEO Alistair Macdonald will be chief executive of the combined company, which will be headquartered in the Triangle, and that INC Chief Financial Officer Greg Rush will retain his position as well.

The deal will create a company with more than 22,000 employees and $3 billion-plus in annual revenue that will rank it among the world’s top three contract research organizations, or CROs. CROs help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies conduct clinical trials and analyze the results. In addition, inVentiv brings to the table a wide range of commercial services that INC doesn’t offer, including providing a sales force to promote drugs as well as marketing and advertising.

INC also released a transcript of an employee meeting that it held at the PNC Arena on May 11, the day after the deal was announced, at which the two CEOs and other executives outlined the rationale for the move and what it would mean for employees.

“For both companies, we’re going to be much bigger, much more profitable and therefore have a lot more opportunities,” Bell said.

At the same time, however, the combined company expects to achieve $100 million in annual savings within three years, which is expected to lead to some job cuts.

Macdonald, apropos of speaking at the home of the Carolina Hurricanes, used a hockey analogy to explain the deal, saying that “we’ve moved the organization to where the puck’s going to be, not where it is right now.”

Other executive appointments outlined in the filing:

▪ Brandon Eldredge, currently senior vice president of corporate strategy and development at inVentiv, will have the same responsibilities at the combined company. His title wasn’t mentioned.

▪ Neil Ferguson, chief commercial officer at INC, will become chief business officer responsible for business development.

▪ Chris Gaenzle, chief administrative officer and general counsel at INC, will retain that title.

▪ Mike McKelvey, executive vice president of Inventiv and president of its clinical division, will be president of the combined company’s clinical division.

▪ Kristen Spensieri, global head of corporate communications and marketing at inVentiv, will remain responsible for corporate communications and marketing. No title was mentioned.

▪ Rachel Stahler, chief information officer at inVentiv, will retain that title.

▪ Jean Chitwood, executive vice president of corporate strategy and development at INC, will be adviser to the CEO.

At the employee meeting, Chitwood addressed an employee’s question about whether INC will change its name after the deal is completed.

She said inVentiv’s commercial offerings include devising product names and company names for its customers, and its expertise will be applied to coming up with a new name.

“We won’t take Prince as an example,” Macdonald chimed in. “We won’t be the CRO formerly known as INC Research.”

David Ranii: 919-829-4877, @dranii

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