Moderna’s CEO Jorge Gomez was fired after learning he was under investigation

Moderna’s CEO Jorge Gomez was fired after learning he was under investigation

The CEO of Bloomberg Moderna Inc., Jorge Gomez, was removed from the position of chief financial officer earlier this week after learning of an investigation into the handling of incentives at his former company.

Moderna learned about the investigation at Dentsply Sirona Inc., where Gomez had previously been CFO, only after the maker of dental instruments and systems publicly disclosed an internal investigation on Tuesday morning, the day after Gomez started at Moderna.

Within an hour of learning about the inquiry, Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel met with external and internal lawyers and board chair Noubar Afeyan to decide how to proceed. The full board was convened for a special meeting later that day, the company said in a statement.

The board made the decision that it was appropriate to separate Mr. Gomez from Moderna upon meeting. Gomez was immediately informed of that decision. Moderna announced Gomez's departure on May 11. Moderna said Friday that it was unaware of the investigation until it was publicly disclosed, and that it was confident that it had conducted due diligence prior to the hiring of Gomez, including contacting former employers, which revealed no concerns.

Gomez received $700,000 in severance pay, or 12 months of salary, as part of a separation agreement with Moderna. The agreement allowed the company to claw back money if Dentsply Sirona or the Securities and Exchange Commission find wrongdoing on his part related to the matter under investigation or if they fine or penalize him, according to a securities filing late Friday.

Shares of Moderna, which have been under pressure this year, have gone up almost 6% in New York.

Gomez, 54, had served for almost three years as CFO for Dentsply Sirona before leaving Moderna. The company said Tuesday it will delay filing its 10Q for the period because it hasn't finalized its assessment of the impact of the probe on its older financial statements or those for the first quarter.

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