- PerkinElmer and General Electric (GE) alum James Mock will fill the CFO seat for biotechnology firm Moderna, ending the company’s quest to find a permanent financial head following its ousting of one-day CFO Jorge Gomez.
- Mock will take on the position effective Sept. 6, with current CFO David Meline — who has served as the company’s CFO since 2020 and agreed to stay on following Gomez’s dismissal — set to depart the same day, per a Wednesday SEC filing.
- Mock’s appointment occurs about three months after Moderna announced Gomez would be departing as CFO on May 10 after serving in the role for just one day. The dismissal followed after his former employer, Dentsply Sirona, publicly disclosed an ongoing internal investigation into matters including financial reporting. Moderna also moved to claw back Gomez’s would-be $700,000 severance, per a May 17 filing.
Mock’s GE chops and strong operating finance experience will be a boon for the biotech company as it transitions from operating as a larger, household name after the success seen following its COVID-19 vaccine — a transition that requires sophistication of essential areas such as personnel and key processes, said Josh Crist, co-managing partner of Crist|Kolder Associates.
“When a small company becomes a big company all of a sudden, technologies, processes, personnel, have to be lifted up with the size of the business,” he said in an interview.
Mock most recently served as SVP and CFO for life sciences and scientific instrument firm PerkinElmer Inc., where he has acted as their financial head for four years beginning May 2018 per his LinkedIn profile. Before joining the company, Mock held numerous executive and finance roles at GE, where he worked for nearly two decades.
As CFO for Moderna, Mock will receive an annual base salary of $750,000 and will also be eligible for an annual cash bonus, with an annual incentive target of 90% of his annual salary, per the company’s Wednesday filing. The company’s previous CFO Meline, meanwhile, will return to retirement following Mock’s taking of the financial helm, but will remain as a consultant to the firm to assist with the transition per the filing.
Crist also pointed to Mock’s strong financial planning and analysis experience as well as his past mergers and acquisitions (M&A) work as expertise that could be beneficial for Moderna as it looks toward future growth.
Company CEO Stéphane Bancel stated during the company’s second quarter earnings call Aug. 3 that “Investing in the business is priority number one, priority number two is really expanding the platform through partnership, licensing, M&A and then the excess cash we will return to shareholder[s].”
During Mock’s tenure as CFO for PerkinElmer, the company completed a nearly $5.3 billion acquisition of antibody and reagent firm BioLegend in July 2021, following its acquisition of Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDS) for $155 million earlier in May of that year.
Moderna currently has $18.1 billion in cash and reported $10.8 billion in revenue for the first half of the year or the six month period ending June 30, per its Q2 earnings release, compared to $6.3 billion for the same period in 2021.
Mock and Meline were not available for comment.