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 strive to create sustained value by translating science and opportunity into impact.
Michael M. Morrissey, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Michael M. Morrissey, Ph.D., is President and Chief Executive Officer at Exelixis and a member of the Board of Directors. Under Dr. Morrissey’s leadership since July 2010, the Exelixis team has brought to market three internally discovered medicines aimed at improving the treatment of various forms of cancer, significantly expanded the company’s clinical development and commercial capabilities and markedly strengthened the company’s financial position in order to prepare for the next chapter of its growth. Since joining Exelixis in February 2000, Dr. Morrissey has held positions of increasing responsibility within the company’s discovery and development organizations, including serving as President of Research and Development from January 2007 until July 2010. From 1991 to 2000, he held several positions at Berlex Biosciences, last holding the position of Vice President, Discovery Research. Earlier in his career, Dr. Morrissey served as a Senior Scientist and Project Team Leader in Medicinal Chemistry at CIBA-Geigy Corporation. 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., is President, Product Development and Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at Exelixis. In this role since February 2016, Dr. Schwab leads Exelixis’ product development program, helping to advance product candidates through development and regulatory approval to commercial launch. In her various roles with the company since 2006, Dr. Schwab has supported the approvals of COMETRIQ® and CABOMETYX® and continues to work to expand the cabozantinib franchise with the goal of bringing advanced treatment options to patients with cancer. Dr. Schwab joined Exelixis from Abgenix, Inc., a human antibody-based product development company, where she was Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer and held other executive-level clinical development positions during her tenure. Prior to working at Abgenix, from 1992 to 1999, Dr. Schwab held positions of increasing responsibility at Amgen Inc., most recently as Director of Clinical Research and Hematology/Oncology Therapeutic Area Team Leader. Dr. Schwab also serves as a member of the board of directors of Cellerant Therapeutics, Inc., and Nordic Nanovector AS. Dr. Schwab holds a 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, tax, treasury and corporate and operational financial planning. Mr. Senner previously spent eighteen years at Wyeth, a pharmaceutical company acquired by Pfizer Inc. in 2009, in a variety of financial roles with increasing responsibility, most notably as Chief Financial Officer of Wyeth’s U.S. pharmaceuticals business and the BioPharma Business Unit. Since 2019, Mr. Senner has served as a member of the board of directors of Cortexyme, Inc., a publicly traded clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Senner holds a B.S. in Finance from Bentley College.
Dana T. Aftab, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Business Operations
Dana T. Aftab, Ph.D., is Executive Vice President, Business Operations at Exelixis. Since February 2016, Dr. Aftab’s responsibilities in this role have included corporate site development, management and operations, in order to ensure that Exelixis’ work environments are well-suited to empower the company’s teams in their collective quest to help patients with cancer. Dr. Aftab joined Exelixis in 1998, starting in the company’s drug discovery group, where he helped build the company’s foundational discovery programs in oncology and metabolic diseases. He then moved into the clinical development organization in 2007, where he implemented a broad translational medicine platform. Prior to joining Exelixis, Dr. Aftab held senior scientist positions at several biotech start-ups. Dr. Aftab holds B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in pharmacology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Yale University, respectively, and did postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley in the field of oncogene signaling.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Laura Dillard is Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Exelixis. In this role since November 2014, Ms. Dillard is responsible for assembling a driven, talented and inspired workforce that works together to help Exelixis in its goal of helping patients with cancer achieve remission. As a part of the Exelixis human resources team since 2005, Ms. Dillard has spearheaded significant initiatives along the company’s growth trajectory, including its transition from a drug discovery company to a full-scale commercial organization following the FDA approval of CABOMETYX in 2016. 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. She also held various human resources 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 is Senior Vice President, Commercial at Exelixis. In this role since December 2016, Mr. Haley is responsible for the company’s sales, marketing, market access and commercial operations functions. A significant area of focus for Mr. Haley is ensuring that healthcare providers and patients are aware of and have access to Exelixis’ growing portfolio of medicines and receive the best possible support from the company. Mr. Haley joined Exelixis in 2010 as Director of Marketing and has taken on roles of increasing responsibility within the commercial organization, including Vice President, Commercial from November 2014 to December 2016. Prior to joining Exelixis, from 2007 to 2010, Mr. Haley held numerous marketing roles at Genentech, Inc., on the Avastin marketing team focusing on the lung cancer, glioblastoma and renal cell carcinoma indications, most recently as Group Product Manager. He also worked at Amgen Inc., from 2003 to 2007 in various oncology- and immunology-focused sales and marketing positions. Mr. Haley holds a B.A. in Art History and Medieval and Renaissance Studies from Duke University and worked in investment banking and consulting before earning an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business.
Jeffrey J. Hessekiel, J.D.
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Jeffrey J. Hessekiel, J.D., is Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Exelixis. In this role since February 2014, Mr. Hessekiel’s responsibilities include helping colleagues across Exelixis successfully navigate the complex legal and regulatory landscape as they work to create medicines that improve the lives of patients living with cancer, as well as protecting Exelixis and advancing its interests as consistent with Exelixis’ Code of Conduct. Prior to joining Exelixis, Mr. Hessekiel was Senior Counsel at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer 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 later Chief Compliance and Quality Officer, where he was responsible for the creation and management of Gilead’s Corporate Compliance & Quality department. Earlier in his career, 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 holds a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School and is admitted to practice in California and he holds a B.A. in Political Science from Duke University.
Susan T. Hubbard
Executive Vice President, Public Affairs and Investor Relations
Susan T. Hubbard is Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Investor Relations at Exelixis. In this role since December 2016, Ms. Hubbard is responsible for strategy, development and delivery of communications to the company’s diverse corporate audiences. Her charter also includes bringing to life the significant contributions the company has made to the treatment of cancer, as well as its unrelenting commitment to the field of oncology and bold vision for the future. A public relations and investor relations consultant to Exelixis since 2014, Ms. Hubbard was instrumental in developing Exelixis’ communications strategy around the launch of CABOMETYX, as well as managing the announcements of several other major milestones for its partnered programs. Previously, Ms. Hubbard spent over two decades at Gilead Sciences, Inc., where she occupied a variety of roles of increasing responsibility, concluding her tenure as Vice President of Investor Relations. Ms. Hubbard holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Peter Lamb, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Scientific Strategy and Chief Scientific Officer
Peter Lamb, Ph.D., is Executive Vice President, Scientific Strategy and Chief Scientific Officer of Exelixis. In this role since February 2016, Dr. Lamb is responsible for Exelixis’ drug discovery initiatives, leading the company’s efforts to identify molecular candidates that could have an impact on the treatment of cancer. An Exelixis employee since 2000, he has held several roles of increasing responsibility within the company’s discovery organization and has made integral contributions to the discovery and development of Exelixis’ flagship molecule, cabozantinib, as well as cobimetinib. Prior to joining Exelixis, from June 1992 until September 2000, Dr. Lamb worked at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, most recently serving as Director of Transcription Research. During this time, he led teams that implemented novel drug discovery approaches that facilitated 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 U.S. patents. Dr. Lamb holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the ICRF/University of London and a B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge.