* Jacqualyn Fouse to replace David Gryska on Sept. 27
* Fouse previously was CFO at Bunge Ltd and Alcon Labs
* Gryska to leave company on Nov. 1
* Shares fall 3.5 percent (Adds analyst comment, share price, background)
CHICAGO, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Celgene Corp (CELG.O) said on Thursday it named Jacqualyn Fouse chief financial officer, effective Sept. 27, to replace David Gryska, who will leave the company on Nov. 1 to pursue other opportunities.
The shares of the biotech company — which said on Thursday another drugmaker has applied for U.S. regulatory approval to sell a generic version of its cancer drug, Revlimid — fell 3.5 percent in early afternoon trading.
“I just think investors are maybe a little bit surprised ... I was not expecting this,” Summer Street analyst Carol Werther said of the CFO news. “They have had a couple of management changes this year.”
Celgene named Robert Hugin as its chief executive officer in April, replacing Sol Barer, who was appointed chairman. Barer will step down to become nonexecutive chairman, starting next year.
The company makes cancer drugs Thalomid and Revlimid, which is used mainly as a treatment for multiple myeloma and generated sales of $1.7 billion last year.
Fouse joins the Summit, New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company from agribusiness and food company Bunge Ltd (BG.N). She was chief financial officer there for the past 3 years. She was chief financial officer at eye care company Alcon Laboratories Inc from 2002 to 2007 and was group treasurer of Nestle SA NESN.VX, Alcon Inc’s ACL.N majority owner, before that.
“We believe the CFO transition likely represents part of Celgene’s evolution from a mid-cap U.S. focused growth company to a large-cap international company,” ISI Group analyst Mark Schoenebaum wrote in a research note.
“This is important, as we expect international sales to account for over half of Celgene’s business within 3 to 5 years. Ms. Fouse brings international experience and strategic perspective to Celgene,” he said, adding he believes the CFO transition was “probably planned at the board level and does not represent a surprise to the company.”
Celgene shares were down $1.79 at $49.98 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq exchange. (Reporting by Debra Sherman and Deena Beasley, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)