Meet the Innoviva Team

Industry Leadership

Innoviva is built around life sciences leaders who believe in the value of innovative medicines and have experience in both pharmaceutical operations and financial management. Our core leadership team plays a fundamental role in strengthening partnerships and executing on tactical insights.

Armed with this strong healthcare background, Innoviva works closely with its collaborators to optimize the development and commercialization of its partnered medicines.

Prior to his hiring, Mr. Hulme, age 51, served as the owner and manager of Steel Valley Capital LLC since 2016 and Steel Valley Advisors LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser since 2017. Previously, from 1998 to 2015, he worked at Amici Capital, LLC, serving in various roles, including as Director of Research, a portfolio manager and a director of various funds managed by Amici. Mr. Hulme earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance, summa cum laude, from Villanova University.

Eric d’Esparbes joined Innoviva as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in October 2014. From 2010 to 2014, Mr. d’Esparbes served as the Chief Financial Officer of Joule Unlimited, a biotechnology company, where he was responsible for overseeing all of the company’s financial, tax, treasury, and accounting activities. Prior to Joule Unlimited, he was the Vice President, Finance, of AEI, a global emerging markets energy company, where he was responsible for optimizing the capital structure of AEI’s international portfolio of energy assets, and from 2007 to 2010 served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AEI Asia. Mr. d’Esparbes has also served as Chief Financial Officer and other senior financial roles at Meiya Power Company Limited from 1999 to 2007, and senior financial roles at Hydro-Quebec International from 1993 to 1999. Mr. d’Esparbes earned a BAA in International Finance from the University of Montreal’s Hautes Etudes Commerciales in Montreal, Canada.

George B. Abercrombie joined Innoviva in June 2014. Prior to joining Innoviva, Mr. Abercrombie served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. from 2001 to 2009, where he was responsible for the US and Canadian business divisions. From 1993 to 2001, Mr. Abercrombie worked at Glaxo and its successor companies, including as Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for Glaxo Wellcome, Inc. He is the Chairman of the Board of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and also serves as a board member of numerous other healthcare-related organizations, including Project Hope and the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation. Mr. Abercrombie holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Pharmacy.

Theodore J. Witek, Jr., DrPH joined Innoviva in July 2014. Prior to joining Innoviva, Dr. Witek served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Boehringer Ingelheim in Canada and in Portugal. Joining Boehringer in 1992, Dr. Witek held a number of positions of increasing responsibility, including leading the global clinical development and launch of several respiratory products, most notably Spiriva®. He also led the Respiratory and Immunology clinical research groups in the US in 2001, he moved to Germany to lead the operating team for Spiriva® and also served as the Boehringer Co-chair of the Joint Operating Committee with Pfizer in their global alliance. During his tenure in Canada, Dr. Witek served on the Board of Directors at Rx&D, Canada’s National Association for Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies, chairing its Heath Technology Assessment and Public Affairs Committees. He also served over ten years on the Drug/Device Discovery and Development Committee of the American Thoracic Society, serving as Chairman from 2010 to 2012. He is currently appointed to the Ontario Heath Innovation Council. Dr. Witek holds a DrPH degree from Columbia University, an MPH from Yale University, and an MBA from Henley Management College.

Odysseas Kostas, M.D., has served as a member of our Board of Directors since December 2017 and as Chairman of the Board of Directors since April 2018. He is currently a member of our Audit Committee and our Nominating/Corporate Governance Committee. He is a Partner and Senior Analyst at Sarissa Capital Management LP. Sarissa Capital focuses on improving the strategies of companies to enhance shareholder value. Prior to joining Sarissa Capital, Dr. Kostas served as a Director at Evercore ISI (formerly ISI), covering the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Previously, he practiced internal medicine as part of the Yale New Haven Health System and was engaged as a consultant to various biotechnology companies. Dr. Kostas currently serves on the board of directors of Enzon Pharmaceuticals.

 

Member of the Audit Committee
Member of the Nominating/Corporate Governance Committee

Mr. Bickerstaff, has served as a member of our Board of Directors since December 2017 and is currently Chair of our Audit Committee and a member of our Compensation Committee. He currently serves as a Managing Director of M.M. Dillon & Co., LLC, an investment banking firm. Prior to joining M.M. Dillon & Co., LLC, Mr. Bickerstaff held various positions with Novartis International AG, a global leader in pharmaceuticals and consumer health, including Chief Financial Officer of Novartis Pharma AG. Mr. Bickerstaff currently serves on the board of directors of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., CareDx, Inc. and Cardax, Inc. Mr. Bickerstaff previously served on the board of directors of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. until it was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited in February 2017.

 

Chair of the Audit Committee
Member of the Compensation Committee

Mr. DiPaolo has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 2018 and is currently a member of our Nominating/Corporate Governance Committee and our Compensation Committee. Mr. DiPaolo has been a Partner and the General Counsel of Sarissa Capital Management LP, a registered investment advisor, since May 2013. Sarissa Capital Management LP focuses on improving the strategies of companies to enhance shareholder value. From 2005 – 2013, Mr. DiPaolo served as a senior member of Icahn Capital’s investment team, working on all aspects of Carl Icahn’s activist investment strategy. Prior to working with Icahn Capital, Mr. DiPaolo was an attorney with Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Since August 2017, Mr. DiPaolo has been a member of the board of directors of Novelion Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company. Mr. DiPaolo has substantial experience in operations, transactions, law and corporate governance. Mr. DiPaolo received his B.A. degree from Fordham University and his J.D. degree from Georgetown University.

 

Member of the Nominating/Corporate Governance Committee
Member of the Compensation Committee

Mr. Haimovitz has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 2018 and is currently Chair of our Compensation Committee and a member of our Audit Committee. Mr. Haimovitz is currently President of Haimovitz Consulting, Inc. He previously served as a member of the board of directors of Ariad Pharmaceuticals, where he was also a member of the audit committee; Dial Global, Inc., where he was also member of the audit committee; and Imclone Pharmaceuticals, where he served as chairperson of the audit committee. Mr. Haimovitz has also served as Chief Executive Officer or Chief Operating Officer of the following companies: Spelling Entertainment, Inc., King World Productions and VJN, Inc. Mr. Haimovitz holds a B.S. (1971) and M.A. (1974) degree in Mathematics from Brooklyn College.

 

Chair of the Compensation Committee
Member of the Audit Committee

Dr. Sarah J. Schlesinger has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 2018 and is currently Chair of our Nominating/Corporate Governance Committee and a member of our Compensation Committee. Dr. Schlesinger is an Associate Professor of Clinical Investigation at Rockefeller University and Senior Attending Physician at Rockefeller University Hospital. Dr. Schlesinger led the Dendritic Cell section of the Division of Retrovirology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and was also a member of the Division of Infectious and Parasitic Disease Pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology from 1994 to 2002. In 2002, Dr. Schlesinger rejoined Rockefeller University and began working with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative as a Scientist in Vaccine Research and Design. Dr. Schlesinger has been a member of Rockefeller University Hospital’s Institutional Review Board (“IRB”) (Ethics Committee) since 2003 and previously served as IRB’s vice-chairperson. In 2017 she assumed the position of chairperson of the IRB. She is currently the director of the education and training programs at Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science and serves on the Medical Staff Executive Committee of Rockefeller University Hospital. Dr. Schlesinger currently serves on the board of three non-profit organizations: the AIDS Vaccines Advocacy Coalition, Global Viral and The Hastings Center, the pre-eminent center for the study of bioethics. Dr. Schlesinger served as an independent corporate director of Ariad Pharmaceuticals from 2013 until its sale to Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited in 2017. Dr. Schlesinger has a B.A. from Wellesley College and a M.D. from Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois.

 

Chair of the Nominating/Corporate Governance Committee
Member of the Compensation Committee