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Why Moderna Was a Sickly Stock Today


What happened

Thursday was a bad day to be a stock investor; it was an especially bad day to hold shares of Moderna (MRNA -3.34%). The prominent coronavirus stock fell by over 3% in price, exceeding the more than 2% slide of the S&P 500 index. While declining coronavirus numbers certainly had something to do with that, investors were also wary about a change in the company’s top management.

So what

That morning, Moderna announced that it has appointed a new chief technical operations and quality officer — Jerh Collins, who is to take up the position next Monday, Oct. 3.

Collins replaces Juan Andres, who is remaining at the company in the new role of president of strategic partnerships and enterprise expansion. His mandate will be, in Moderna’s words, to “focus on building out the organization to support the growing pipeline.” The company said that this is in preparation for several upcoming product launches, although it provided no details about them.

Prior to joining Moderna, Collins had worked for 30 years at pharmaceutical giant Novartis where he filled a variety of managerial roles, including head of global chemical operations.

Now what

While the incoming executive has plenty of seasoning and will likely be an asset to Moderna, investors are often uneasy when a successful company makes a shift in its C-suite. At times, it can feel like a violation of the “don’t rock the boat” philosophy.

This move shows, however, that Moderna is not only looking past its prominent role in the fight against the now apparently fading coronavirus, it’s actually making moves to prepare for the next stage. Considering that, Thursday’s share-price hit probably wasn’t fully deserved.





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