Our Leadership Team
At Exelixis, we believe that leadership happens at all levels across the company. We lead by example, fostering shared purpose and a heartfelt passion for giving patients hope as the core driver of business performance. Together, we are resilient in the face of adversity, relentless in delivering results and unwavering in our commitment to excel for patients through the work we do and medicines we bring to market. We create sustained value by translating opportunity into impact.
Michael M. Morrissey, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Michael M. Morrissey, Ph.D. has served as a director and as Exelixis’ President and Chief Executive Officer since July 2010. Dr. Morrissey has held positions of increasing responsibility at Exelixis since he joined the company in February 2000. From January 2007 until July 2010, he served as President of Research and Development, from January 2006 until December 2006, he served as Executive Vice President, Discovery, from January 2003 to December 2005, he served as Senior Vice President, Discovery, and from February 2000 through December 2002, he served as Vice President of Discovery Research.
From 1991 to 2000, Dr. Morrissey held several positions at Berlex Biosciences, last holding the position of Vice President, Discovery Research. From 1986 to 1991, he served as a Senior Scientist and Project Team Leader in Medicinal Chemistry at CIBA-Geigy Corporation, a pharmaceutical company. He is the author of numerous scientific publications in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery and an inventor on 70 issued U.S. patents and 25 additional published U.S. patent applications. Dr. Morrissey holds a B.S. (Honors) in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University.
Gisela M. Schwab, M.D.
President, Product Development and Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer
Gisela M. Schwab, M.D., has served as President, Product Development and Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer since February 2016. Previously, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer from January 2008 until February 2016. Dr. Schwab joined Exelixis in 2006 as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. From 2002 to 2006, she held the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Abgenix, Inc., a human antibody-based drug development company. She also served as Vice President, Clinical Development, at Abgenix from 1999 to 2001. Prior to working at Abgenix, from 1992 to 1999, she held positions of increasing responsibility at Amgen Inc., most recently as Director of Clinical Research and Hematology/Oncology Therapeutic Area Team Leader. Dr. Schwab serves on the Board of Directors of Cellerant Therapeutics, Inc. and Nordic Nanovector AS. Dr. Schwab received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Heidelberg, trained at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and the National Cancer Institute and is board certified in internal medicine and hematology and oncology.
Christopher J. Senner
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Chris Senner has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since July 2015. Prior to joining Exelixis, Mr. Senner served as Vice President, Corporate Finance at Gilead Sciences, which he joined in March 2010. At Gilead, he was accountable for controllership and operational financial planning and analysis, including R&D, commercial operations, and tax and treasury planning. Before joining Gilead, Mr. Senner spent 18 years at Wyeth in various managerial roles of increasing responsibility, most recently serving as Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer for Wyeth Pharmaceutical’s U.S. Region, a position he held from July 2007 to November 2009. Before joining Wyeth, Mr. Senner worked as an accounting associate for the Research Board, an international think tank headquartered in New York. Mr. Senner obtained his B.S. in Finance from Bentley College.
Dana Aftab, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Business Operations
Dana Aftab, Ph.D. has served as Executive Vice President, Business Operations since February 2016 and has been at Exelixis for almost 18 years. He began his tenure with Exelixis in the company’s drug discovery group, where he led the pharmacology department and served as Project Team Leader for discovery programs in oncology and metabolic diseases. In 2007, Dr. Aftab moved into the clinical development organization where he implemented a broad translational medicine platform at the company. Before joining Exelixis, Dr. Aftab held senior scientist positions at Versicor and Metaxen. He received his Ph.D. from Yale, did postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley in the field of oncogene signaling, and completed his undergraduate degree at UC Santa Barbara.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Laura Dillard has served as Exelixis’ Senior Vice President of Human Resources since November 2014. Ms. Dillard has held HR management positions of increasing responsibility since joining the company in November 2005. Prior to joining Exelixis, Ms. Dillard served as Vice President of Human Resources and Real Estate at Leapfrog from 2002 to 2005, and in several positions of increasing responsibility at AT&T Consumer/Northpoint Communications from 1999 to 2001. Before joining AT&T, she held various HR management positions at Hasbro and Sega of America, where she established the human resources function for the Japanese video game company’s U.S. and Canadian-based operations. Ms. Dillard holds a B.S. degree in Human Services Administration from Notre Dame de Namur University and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Society for Human Resource Management.
P.J. Haley, MBA
Senior Vice President, Commercial
P.J. Haley has served as Senior Vice President, Commercial at Exelixis since December 2016. Previously, he served as Vice President, Commercial at Exelixis from November 2014 to December 2016. P.J. joined Exelixis in 2010 as Director of Marketing, and has taken on increasing roles of responsibility within the commercial organization since. Prior to joining Exelixis, Mr. Haley held numerous roles in marketing at Genentech from 2007 to 2010 where he focused on Avastin in lung cancer, glioblastoma, and renal cell carcinoma. He worked at Amgen from 2003 to 2007 in various sales and marketing positions in both oncology and immunology. Before receiving his MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Mr. Haley worked in investment banking and consulting. P.J. received his undergraduate degree from Duke University.
Jeffrey J. Hessekiel, J.D.
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Jeffrey J. Hessekiel, J.D., has served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel since February 2014. Prior to joining Exelixis, Mr. Hessekiel was Senior Counsel at Arnold & Porter LLP, where 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 trained in the litigation and corporate practice groups at a number of Silicon Valley law firms. He also worked for several international non-governmental organizations. Mr. Hessekiel received his J.D. from George Washington University’s School of Law, and his B.A. from Duke University.
Executive Vice President, Public Affairs and Investor Relations
Susan Hubbard has served as Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Investor Relations since December 2016. Prior to joining Exelixis in a full-time capacity, Ms. Hubbard served as an independent public affairs and investor relations consultant to the biopharmaceutical industry. From 2014, she was instrumental in developing Exelixis’ communications strategy around the late-stage clinical development, approval and commercial launch of CABOMETYX, as well as several major milestones for the company’s partnered programs. Previously, Ms. Hubbard spent over two decades at Gilead Sciences where she occupied a variety of roles of increasing responsibility, concluding her tenure as Vice President of Investor Relations. Ms. Hubbard received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Peter Lamb, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Scientific Strategy and Chief Scientific Officer
Peter Lamb, Ph.D., has served as Executive Vice President, Scientific Strategy and Chief Scientific Officer since February 2016. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President, Discovery Research and Chief Scientific Officer from September 2009 to February 2016, as Senior Vice President, Discovery Research and Chief Scientific Officer from January 2007 until September 2009, as Vice President, Discovery Pharmacology from December 2003 until January 2007 and as Senior Director, Molecular Pharmacology and Structural Biology from October 2000 until December 2003. Prior to joining Exelixis, from June 1992 until September 2000, Dr. Lamb held positions of increasing responsibility at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, most recently serving as Director of Transcription Research. During this time, he led teams that implemented novel drug discovery approaches that led to the identification of the first small molecule activators of cytokine receptors. Dr. Lamb has held post-doctoral research fellowships at the Carnegie Institution, Department of Embryology, with Dr. S.L. McKnight and the University of Oxford with Dr. N.J. Proudfoot, working in the field of gene regulation. He has authored numerous articles in the fields of gene expression, signal transduction and oncology, and is an author on multiple issued and pending US patents. He has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the ICRF/University of London and a B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge.