LONDON & NEW ZEALAND – November 12, 2021 – Argenta’s Board of Directors has announced the relocation of the Chief Executive role from New Zealand to the Northern Hemisphere to support further growth and be closer to the majority of customers. Ben Russell, who joined Argenta in November 2017 as Deputy CEO and took the reins as Chief Executive in March 2019, supports this decision, but has decided to stay in New Zealand and will step down from his position at the end of the year.
Argenta, the only combined global CRO and CDMO dedicated to animal health, has an ambitious growth strategy. Since the investment of private equity firm KKR, this strategy has been accelerated and most opportunities for organic and inorganic growth have been identified in Europe and North America. The most recent acquisition of Klifovet, a leading CRO based in Germany, is an example of that.
“As a global organisation it is sensible to have the CEO in the geography where most opportunities are and where key decisions are often made,” said George Gunn, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
A robust search for a new CEO is underway. Until a successor is identified, the Board has appointed Stephen Sibson as interim CEO of Argenta, taking over Ben’s responsibilities by December 1, 2021.
Currently Argenta’s Global Head of Manufacturing, Stephen has an impressive 25+year career in pharmaceutical manufacturing. After graduating with a PhD in Chemical Engineering, he began with GSK and later joined Pfizer, where he held multiple leadership roles in both the UK and Puerto Rico before joining Novartis to lead their Dundee site in 2014. He continued in that role when Elanco acquired Novartis Animal Health in 2015 and when Argenta purchased the site in 2017. He was promoted to Global Head of Manufacturing at Argenta in November 2018.
“During his tenure, Ben has been instrumental in the development of the current strategic direction and has led the company through a period of significant change and growth. He has built a strong leadership team and enhanced Argenta’s reputation and relationship with customers, providing a very strong platform for future growth and we thank him for that,” said George Gunn.
Founded in 2006 in New Zealand, Argenta’s talented, diverse and committed employees work on a daily basis to deliver excellence in animal health to customers around the world. With research and GMP manufacturing operations in New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany, Argenta holds a unique position as the only combined global contract research organization (CRO) and contract development & manufacturing organization (CDMO) dedicated to animal health. Argenta operates from Molecule to Market in partnership with customers of all sizes from all corners of the world, supporting their Research & Development, clinical research, regulatory, scale up, and manufacturing needs along the veterinary product development journey.