Company investigations are underway of CFO Jorge Gomez by both of his former employers, Moderna and Dentsply Sirona.
Moderna’s new CFO, Jorge Gomez, was out in just one day after his former employer, Dentsply Sirona, announced an internal probe involving financial reporting. According to the Massachusetts-headquartered pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, Gomez will receive 12 months’ salary ($700,000) with his departure but forfeit his signing bonus and bonus eligibility, provided he is cleared in the investigation.
“Since the matter with the [dismissed] CFO seems to be at his previous employer, I would speculate Moderna’s options are limited, in terms of contractual stipulations for letting a person go,” states Hartaj Singh, managing director and senior analyst for Biotechnology at Oppenheimer. “If the alleged issues at the previous company had occurred at Moderna, I believe Moderna could have been harsher in terms of the $700,000.”
Gomez was CFO at Cardinal Health before holding the same role at Dentsply Sirona for more than two years. The Dentsply board, acting on information from former and current employees, launched an internal investigation into its own financial reporting in March, but only announced it on May 10 after revealing that it couldn’t file its first-quarter financial report because of the internal probe.
Dentsply, which also announced the immediate departure of its CEO, is investigating whether senior management played any role in the improper use of secret sales incentives in late 2021 to artificially boost financial results and inflate executive pay.
Moderna’s recently retired CFO, David Meline, has agreed to stay on in the role while the company begins its executive search again.
Despite the debacle, Singh says he doesn’t believe Moderna will be short of candidates. “While we have little idea who the next person could be, Moderna will likely be one of the main champions of mRNA therapeutics for the next one or two decades,” he says. “Any CFO who would like to be part of a history-defining moment in drug development should want this job.”