Synta Pharma CEO Sudden Resignation Might Trigger Overhaul

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The directors sitting on Synta Pharmaceuticals' (SNTA) board finally looked at the stock chart above or spoke with a real-life oncologist. Either might explain why the company announced the sudden resignation of CEO Safi Bahcall Monday night. Bahcall is being replaced by a committee of directors until a new CEO can be found. 

No specific reason was provided for Bahcall's resignation and a company spokesperson wouldn't elaborate. The subpar performance of Synta's stock price during a raging biotech bull market couldn't have helped his case for continued employment. No one but Bahcall really believed in the future of Synta's lead lung cancer drug ganetespib, either.

Synta's board is still wrangling with Bahcall over his separation agreement, according to an 8-K filed Tuesday, so the entire matter sounds contentious.

The next significant corporate update should come when Synta reports 2013 financial results on March 11. Will the company continue with the ongoing phase III study of ganetespib in non-small cell lung cancer? Or, is Bahcall's resignation the first step in a major overhaul of the company? 

Synta shares are down 2% to $6.02 in early Tuesday trading. 

 

 

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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