Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL) today announced the appointment of Jeffrey J. Hessekiel, J.D., as executive vice president and general counsel. Mr. Hessekiel is a veteran legal professional with more than a decade of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, as well as six years spent in general corporate and litigation practice in Silicon Valley. His legal expertise in pharmaceutical commercialization, compliance, and risk management will benefit Exelixis following its first product launch and in anticipation of top-line data from as many as four phase 3 pivotal trials later this year.
As Exelixis’ general counsel, Mr. Hessekiel is a key member of the company’s senior leadership team and is responsible for overseeing the global legal function. Mr. Hessekiel joins Exelixis from Arnold & Porter LLP, where as senior counsel he advised emerging growth and public companies, primarily in the life sciences sector, on complex legal issues connected with strategic transactions, healthcare compliance programs and investigations, and regulatory matters. Previously, from 2002 to 2012, he held key legal and compliance roles at Gilead Sciences, Inc., rising to the positions of vice president, commercial legal affairs and litigation, and then chief compliance and quality officer. Prior to joining Gilead, Mr. Hessekiel practiced corporate law at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and at Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe. He received his J.D. from George Washington University’s School of Law, and his B.A. from Duke University .
“Jeff’s appointment comes at an important time for Exelixis, as we strive to fully maximize the opportunity for cabozantinib and further develop cabozantinib into a major oncology product,” said Michael M. Morrissey, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Exelixis. “His broad and successful legal experience, particularly with regard to pharmaceutical marketing and commercialization, makes him well prepared to guide us through the complex issues that arise as we continue our transformation into a global commercial organization.”