* Tessier-Lavigne to join Rockefeller University
* Exec departure follows Roche acquisition
NEW YORK, Sept 8 The No. 2 research executive at
Genentech is leaving for a post in academia -- marking one of
the highest-profile departures since the U.S. biotechnology
company was acquired by Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG
Marc Tessier-Lavigne, executive vice president of research
and chief scientific officer, will become president of
Rockefeller University in New York in early 2011, a Genentech
spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday.
Tessier-Lavigne, a neuroscientist, is a seven-year Genentech
Richard Scheller, Genentech's executive vice president of
research and early development, said Tessier-Lavigne had been a
"While we are sad to see him leave, we wish him nothing but
the best in his new role," Scheller said in a statement. "We
are fortunate to have a strong reservoir of talent ready to
The departure may reignite fears of significant departures
from Genentech now that it is wholly owned by Roche. Roche
sealed the $47 billion buyout of its biotech partner last year
after a lengthy pursuit.
Earlier this month, Roche said it would review its business
and cut costs to cope with recent setbacks on key drugs and
rising pressures on prices from healthcare reforms.
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf)