Adaptimmune Theraputics has announced that its current chief financial officer, Adrian Rawcliffe, is to succeed James Noble as the company’s new chief executive officer.

The transition is set to occur when James retires from his executive duties and transitions to a non-executive director role on the company’s board on September 1, 2019. Adrian will join the board of directors from the same date.

Since he joined Adaptimmune as chief financial officer in March 2015, Adrian has led the company’s financial strategy and operations, as well as investor relations, corporate communications, manufacturing and supply chain, product development, information management and facilities.

Before joining Adaptimmune, he held various senior roles at GSK, after joining the pharmaceutical company in 1988. His most recent role at GSK was senior vice president, finance of the North American Pharmaceuticals business.

“Following James’ request early last year, the board has been planning for leadership succession. Today, I am pleased to announce Adrian’s appointment, following a rigorous global selection process,” said David Mott, Adaptimmune’s chairman of the board.

He continued, “We were very fortunate to have Adrian as a candidate, not only given his role as CFO, covering a wide range of responsibilities from manufacturing to information management, but also his previous experiences at GSK. I want to thank James for his leadership, energy and drive, which has delivered the company’s science, current pipeline, manufacturing expertise, and strong teams. Based on these strengths, Adrian will now lead the company towards commercialisation.”