The Evolution of the CFO Role 2.0

Thursday, May 9 2013
8:00 am – 10:00 am

Location: MassBio, 300 Technology Square, 8th Floor, Cambridge, MA

In today's challenging and dynamic environment, the role of the public and private company CFO has evolved significantly. The traditional role of financial steward has expanded significantly, and the new CFO agenda often encompasses oversight of operations as well as a pivotal role in strategy, and the CFO is now expected to create value across the enterprise.  Please join us for the follow up to last year’s event and hear seasoned CFOs provide their insights into the CFO role, define the skill sets needed to become a strategic leader for the company, and explain what it takes to reach the C suite.


  • Michael G. Donovan, Partner and Northeast Area Industry Leader for Biotechnology, Ernst & Young


  • Dan Geffken, Managing Director, Danforth Advisors
  • David Johnston, Chief Financial Officer, Aveo Oncology
  • Richard P. Shea, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, Momenta Pharmaceuticals
  • Michael Wyzga, President and Chief Executive Officer, Radius


Speaker Bios:


Michael G. Donovan Partner and Northeast Area Industry Leader for Biotechnology for Ernst & Young

Michael serves as an audit partner for Ernst & Young’s Biotechnology practice in New England and is the Northeaset Area Industry Leader for Biotechnology. The Biotechnology practice, focused on biotechnology and medical device companies, is comprised of more than 150 audit, tax and finance professionals in the New England and Metro New York areas. Based in Boston, Mike has more than twenty three years of experience with a significant focus on working with privately-owned and publicly-held companies in the life science sectors including biotech, pharmaceutical and medical devices.

He specializes in helping clients with various accounting and business issues related to revenue recognition, including the initial launch of newly approved products and drugs, strategic financings and collaborations and partnerships. Mike worked closely with Vertex Pharmaceuticals as they launched INCIVEK for hepatitis C and KALYDECO for cystic fibrosis. Mike has also worked with Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Nitromed, Oscient Pharmaceuticals and Praecis Pharmaceuticals during the launch of their first commercial drugs. Mike has worked with life science companies during his entire career and from 1992 to 1998, he was a member of the team that served Genetics Institute leading up to their acquisition by American Home Products. Mike currently serves as the Coordinating Partner for Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the Engagement Quality Review Partner for Amgen, Inc. Mike graduated from Merrimack College in 1990 with a BS in Business Admistration, Accounting.

Dan Geffken, Managing Director, Danforth Advisors

Daniel has more than 20 years of experience in the life science and renewable energy industries ranging from early start-ups to publicly traded companies with $1 billion+ market capitalizations. Previously, he served as COO or CFO of four publicly traded and four privately held companies. In these roles, he has had management responsibility for finance, accounting, human resources, investor/public relations, facilities, legal, intellectual property, and manufacturing functions. Daniel has raised more than $700 million in equity and debt securities, including a $132 million private placement that was, at the time, the largest PIPE in biotechnology history. His experience spans drafting business plans for pre-Series A companies to managing an orderly wind-down. Daniel started his career as a CPA at KPMG and, later, as a principal in a private equity firm. He is the former Co-Chairman of the Association of Bioscience Financial Officers (ABFO) and of the Finance Committee of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. Dan received his BS from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from the Harvard Business School.

David Johnston, Chief Financial Officer, Aveo Oncology

David Johnston has served as AVEO’s chief financial officer since October 2007. Mr. Johnston has more than 30 years experience in corporate finance. Since joining AVEO, Mr. Johnston has led the company through multiple financing rounds, including the company’s successful initial public offering in 2010. From 1998 to 2007, he served as senior vice president of corporate finance at Genzyme Corporation. Prior to Genzyme, Mr. Johnston was chief financial officer and senior vice president of operations at McCue Corporation in Salem, Mass. Mr. Johnston previously held various positions of increasing responsibility within the finance organizations at both Lotus Development Corporation and Ford Motor Company. Mr. Johnston holds a B.S. from Washington and Lee University and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Richard P. Shea, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, Momenta Pharmaceuticals

 Mr. Shea joined Momenta in October of 2003. He was previously Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at Variagenics, Inc., a pharmacogenomics company, where he assisted in raising over $120 million, including a successful IPO. While at Variagenics, Mr. Shea was responsible for Finance, Legal, Investor Relations, Human Resources and Operations. Prior to this, Mr. Shea was Vice President of Finance at Genetics Institute, Inc. (now Wyeth), and a Senior Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Michael Wyzga, President and Chief Executive Officer, Radius

Michael Wyzga is President and Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors, of Radius. Prior to joining Radius, he was Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Genzyme until its acquisition by Sanofi in April 2011. Mr. Wyzga joined Genzyme in 1998 and held primary responsibility for the firm's financial management worldwide. He provided strategic leadership in the successful $20.1 billion sale of Genzyme to Sanofi, the second-largest acquisition in biotechnology history. Prior to joining Genzyme, Mr. Wyzga was Chief Financial Officer of Sovereign Hill Software. He previously served as Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of CacheLink Corporation, a client/service software company. Mr. Wyzga also held management positions at Lotus Development Corporation and Digital Equipment Corporation. He received an MBA from Providence College and a BS from Suffolk University.

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