Who got the Funk? Not Lonza, as CEO unexpectedly quits

Marc Funk has stepped down from his position as CEO after only nine months and is leaving Lonza, citing personal reasons.

Marc Funk was made CEO of Swiss contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza in March this year, after his predecessor Richard Ridinger retired following a seven-year tenure.

But just nine months on, Lonza has announced Funk is leaving the company “for personal reasons,” handing the CEO baton to chairman Albert Baehny on an interim basis until a permanent successor is recruited.

Image: iStock/Devonyu

A spokesperson from the CDMO told us the resignation “was unexpected but the focus for the business remains the same.” No further details have been disclosed.

Speaking to Bioprocess Insider last month at Lonza’s founding site in Visp, Switzerland, he spoke about his decision in May to carve out its Specialty Ingredients (LSI) business from its pharma and biotech business.

“There was a need to separate the two businesses and this was the most obvious move,” he told us. The reorganization will give the LSI unit independence while remaining under Lonza’s umbrella, once complete in mid-2020.

Marc Funk is leaving Lonza. Image c/o Lonza

This is now likely to be Funk’s legacy, as his rule comes to an end, but he also had a vision for Lonza to be recognized as more than just a Swiss company and grow its presence and influence further in the US, as well as in China, where the CDMO has tentatively begun setting-up operations.

It seems Baehny will look to continue this ambition, saying in a statement: “The company has an exciting future in dynamic markets and I am keen to ensure that we maintain our momentum and capture all the opportunities available to us.”