After a short-lived but lucrative tenure as chief executive officer (CEO) of Kendle – now part of INC Research – Dr Stephen Cutler has found a new home heading up the clinical research business at ICON, the global provider of outsourced development services based in Ireland.

Cutler succeeds Alan Morgan as group president, Clinical Research Services. ICON said Morgan had resigned and would leave the company at the end of April 2012 to pursue other opportunities.

His successor comes to ICON with over 23 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and contract research sectors, including stints at Kendle, Quintiles and Sandoz (Novartis).

He was senior vice president and chief operating officer at Kendle before taking on the CEO’s position on 1 May 2011, in a move that saw co-founders Candace Kendle and Christopher Bergen ease their hold on the reins at the US-based contract research organisation.

Golden parachute

Just a few days later, though, INC Research agreed to acquire Kendle International for around US$232 million in cash.

The merger agreement included a ‘golden parachute’ compensation package worth US$2,080,356 in total for Cutler, who did not join the INC Research management team once the deal was completed. James Ogle, who was CEO of the ‘old’ INC Research, retained that position in the combined company.  

ICON CEO Ciaran Murray – also a new appointment, having stepped up from chief financial officer to replace the retiring Peter Gray on 1 October – said Cutler was joining the company “at a time when we are building the foundations for long-term sustainable growth”.

Cutler’s experience and proven leadership capabilities will be an important asset “as we continue to enhance our position as the global CRO partner of choice for the biopharma industry”, Murray added.