Pharma executive Michael W. Bonney joins Whitehead Institute Board of Directors

Michael W. Bonney photoWhitehead Institute announced today that Michael W. Bonney, former Chief Executive Officer of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, has been elected to its Board of Directors.

Bonney brings to Whitehead a wealth of industry experience in the life sciences. As Cubist CEO from 2003 until his retirement at the end of 2014, he oversaw the company’s growth from startup to biotech powerhouse—on the strength of its blockbuster antibiotic, Cubicin—to its 2015 acquisition by Merck & Co. Prior to his time at Cubist, Bonney spent six years at Biogen, concluding his tenure there as Vice President, Sales and Marketing, and 11 years at Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, where he rose to the position of National Business Director. Bonney has served on the Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Board since 2014 and in April 2015, Celgene Corporation elected him to its Board of Directors.

“I couldn’t be more delighted to have Mike join our Board,” says Whitehead Institute Director David Page. “His depth and breadth of industry experience coupled with his much sought-after leadership skills will make him an enormously valuable member. I look forward to his counsel as we all work to position the Institute for a prosperous future.”

For his part, Bonney echoes Page’s enthusiasm.

“I was incredibly flattered to have been considered for this position,” Bonney says. “Whitehead Institute is a world-renowned research institution of excellence that not only delivers our next scientific advances but also trains the next generation of scientists. Those are both passions of mine.”

Bonney’s commitment to future generations is reflected in his role as Chair of the Board of Directors at his alma mater, Bates College. Although his service on the Whitehead Board doesn’t officially begin until next week, he’s already contemplating how he might contribute.

“I’d like to provide a point of connection between Whitehead’s world-class science and potential investors seeking eventually to commercialize the discoveries,” he says. “In a rapidly changing world where federal research funding is diminished, developing alternative sources of research support will be crucial.”