Celgene Chief Operating Officer Scott Smith abruptly resigns

(Reuters) - Celgene Corp said on Monday Chief Operating Officer Scott Smith is leaving the company, effective immediately.

The company did not cite a reason for his departure, but said it was part of efforts to modify its executive team to focus on “long term success”.

Mark Alles, who became chief executive officer of the drugmaker in 2016, will assume Smith’s responsibilities.

The move also makes Alles directly responsible for all major parts of its business — including clinical development, regulatory and its lucrative hematology and oncology business — in addition to his existing duties, the company said.

Smith’s departure comes a month after U.S. health regulators, in a surprise move, rejected Celgene’s application seeking approval of a key multiple sclerosis drug due to insufficient data.

Smith, a longtime employee of the maker of the blockbuster Revlimid cancer drug, joined in 2008 and served as its president and chief operating officer since April 2017.

Celgene shares were marginally down in after-market trading.

Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta