During the past years, VIB was led by a duo of managing directors, Jo Bury and Johan Cardoen. Johan Cardoen, who also led the VIB’s Innovation & Business team has recently decided to step down from his executive functions for health reasons. After an intensive selection procedure, Jérôme Van Biervliet has been selected as new managing director of VIB alongside Jo Bury.
Finding the right person for the job
To begin the search for a new co-managing director, a search committee, including members of VIB’s Board of Directors and external experts started the selection procedure in autumn 2019. Based on a worldwide executive search, the committee put together a longlist of 63 candidates, 30 of which were further assessed. This resulted in a shortlist of 4 final candidates to be interviewed by the search committee. The search committee unanimously identified Jérôme Van Biervliet as the lead candidate. He was appointed by the Board of Directors of VIB in its meeting of Thursday March 26th, 2020.
Jo Bury, managing director of VIB says: “I would like to thank Johan for many years of close and pleasant collaboration. Without him, VIB would not be what it is now. He has contributed enormously to the further development of the flourishing biotech ecosystem in Flanders, including the initiation of V-Bio Ventures, a VIB linked VC fund. The search committee and the Board of Director, under the professional guidance of Ajit Shetty, did a great job in identifying a very promising successor for Johan Cardoen.”
Ajit Shetty, chair of the board of directors adds: “I can only confirm that over the last years, Johan - together with Jo – has shaped VIB into the world-class research institute it is today. His contribution with regards to technology transfer has created significant return for the Flemish economy in terms of jobs and value creation. We are convinced that Jérôme is up to the challenge of following in his footsteps and will make an excellent co-managing director for VIB. He was by far the best candidate for the job.”
Meet Jérôme Van Biervliet, new managing director at VIB
Jérôme Van Biervliet assumed his new role as new VIB co-managing director of VIB and head of Innovation & Business on April 1st, 2020. Previously, Jérôme was head of business development in VIB’s Innovation & Business team and head of VIB Discovery Sciences. Johan will remain on board until the end of June, 2020 as a senior strategic advisor to ensure a smooth transition period and hand-over to Jérôme. Johan will remain in a direct line with Jérôme and the team as one of the key advisors to VIB.
Johan Cardoen, former managing director, says: “Jérôme and myself have worked together closely and I am very pleased that he will be the new co-managing director. I have witnessed firsthand how Jérôme has all the skills and qualities to make this a success.”
Jérôme Van Biervliet has 20 years cross-disciplinary experience in the medical, business and biotech environments. Prior to taking up Business Development at VIB, he trained as a veterinary internal medicine specialist at Cornell University and was accredited by the American College of Veterinary Internal medicine. He continued with a PhD at VIB, followed by a position as consultant at Bain & Company, a leading strategic business consultancy advising especially in private equity transactions.
As the head of business development of VIB’s Innovation & Business unit, Jérôme Van Biervliet was responsible for all industry collaborations, licensing of VIB assets, and strategic collaborations. He was also the founder and Head of VIB Discovery Sciences, the drug discovery unit of VIB, where he manages a team of industry-trained scientists creating a portfolio of innovative therapeutics and agro-biotech products. In a short time, he was able to raise the necessary funds, assemble the experienced team and establish its credibility as exemplified by several major license deals and new start-ups.
Jérôme Van Biervliet, upon hearing of being selected as new co-managing director: “It is a great honor to follow in the footsteps of a great mentor and biotech key opinion leader. I’m sure that I will meet many challenges along the way, but I look forward to tackling these and carry VIB into the future with the help of the team.”