The appointment comes five months after former CEO Raymond Hill ended his brief tenure at PPD following the firm’s acquisition by the Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman.
Simmons joins PPD from US drug giant Pfizer where he was responsible for the development of the firm’s established products and emerging markets business.
PPD spokesman Ned Glascock said the contract research organisation (CRO) ‘did not miss a beat’ during the CEO selection process and told Outsourcing-pharma.com that Simmons’ previous role and experience in the field of biosimilars and IT were key to winning him the job.
“David’s extensive international experience, including with emerging markets, provides him with keen insight that will serve him well in guiding PPD’s delivery of quality services to our global clients.”
We also asked if Simmons’ knowledge of Pfizer’s inner workings made it more likely PPD would do more work with the world’s largest drugmaker.
And – while he did not answer directly – Glascock did say that: “David’s extensive pharmaceutical industry experience, leadership and vision will be assets in guiding PPD’s partnerships with all of its valued clients.”
Simmons will take over the top PPD job on June 1 at which time Olivier Bandicourt - current Pfizer head of primary care – will take over as chief of the US drugmakers’ $16bn a year established products and emerging markets business.