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UPDATED: Tom Pike joins Quintiles as new CEO

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Quintiles, the world's largest contract research organization, announced Monday morning the appointment of Tom Pike as its new CEO. He will begin his new job April 30.

Given that Pike is new to Quintiles and the CRO field, his appointment may leave some scratching their heads. But according to a statement from the Quintiles, he brings 30 years of professional experience to the table. Pike spent 22 years with IT consulting giant Accenture, where he served in various capacities, including as head of its North America health and products divisions and global chief operating officer for its resources operating group. He also served as the company's chief strategy officer.

"Tom has an impressive track record of helping customers navigate fast-changing environments and solving complex business issues," said Quintiles founder Dennis Gillings in a statement. "He has experience with organizations our size and much larger that will be extremely valuable to us. Tom has a disciplined and forthright approach that will enable him to earn the trust of customers and employees alike. I'm confident he will soon make his mark on our company and the industry at large, continuing the Quintiles tradition of entrepreneurial leadership and pioneering growth."

Pike will succeed Gillings as CEO, while Gillings will stay on as executive chairman of the company's board of directors. Quintiles spokesman Phil Bridges tells FierceCRO in an email that Gillings' new role will still enable him to take an active role in company operations.

"While he will no longer be involved in the day-to-day running of the business, he will continue to have strategic and governance oversight of the company in keeping with the Board's remit," wrote Bridges. "He remains a major shareholder in Quintiles and has an acute interest in its continued success."

With a new CEO in place, could Quintiles look toward becoming a publically-traded company once again? While nothing is decided, Bridges hints that Quintiles recent financial success (think billions in revenue alone last year) could lend itself to the possibility.

"It is fair to say that Quintiles is reaching a point where the public markets may be an attractive way of increasing the influence of our brand, funding growth, and increasing employee participation in our growth," Bridges wrote."The decision about whether to go public or stay private will be made by the board based on a number of criteria, both inside and outside of our control (such as the markets)."

(Image courtesy of Quintiles)

- read the announcement from Quintiles

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