etrials Worldwide’s president and chief executive officer (CEO), Eugene ‘Chip’ Jennings, has stepped down after just 14 months at the helm of the loss-making US supplier of eClinical software and services.

Jennings, a healthcare industry veteran, was brought in as part of an effort to turn around etrials’ operations following a period of turmoil that saw the departure of former CEO John Cline last year. The last few months have witnessed the elimination of Peter Benton’s position as chief operating officer at the end of April and the resignation of secretary, treasurer and chief financial officer James Clark at the end of May.

Meanwhile, etrials reported earlier in May that its operating losses for the first quarter nearly doubled from US$1.17 million to US$2.12 million, on net service revenues that dropped by 9.0% year on year to US$3.71 million.

Last month the company launched a new corporate branding and product repositioning strategy at the Drug Information Association’s annual meeting in Boston Massachusetts. This emphasised etrials’ integrated solutions capabilities, which the company said were “now better aligned to address customer pain points and meet changing customer requirements”.

Nonetheless, there have been reports of investor restlessness about the progress Jennings was making towards hauling etrials back into profit. The company said Jennings had resigned “for family reasons” and had agreed to remain available as a consultant while etrials looked for a replacement.

Chuck Piccirillo, etrials’ vice president of technology, has been named interim president and CEO while the company conducts a national search for a successor to Jennings. The new CEO may also be sourced internally.

Board chairman Robert Brill commended Jennings for his leadership in setting in motion “a major transformation at etrials” that had left the company with “an effective sales management team and revitalised sales force”. Jennings had also spearheaded etrials’ integrated solutions drive, which Brill described as “a cornerstone of the company’s strategy to increase market share and capture opportunities in the growing mid-tier market”.