New general counsel to join Arena Pharmaceuticals

Jan 15, 2020
Joan Schmidt comes to Arena from DBV Technologies

Joan Schmidt will join Arena Pharmaceuticals as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary in March.

Her arrival will take place as Steven Spector retires from the post after spending almost 20 years with the company. Spector will remain with Arena in his current role until early March and then serve as a consultant supporting continuing projects for the company to help with the transition.

In her new role, Schmidt will report to president and CEO Amit Munshi. She is joining Nasdaq-listed Arena from DBV Technologies, a clinical-stage biopharmaceuticals company, where she has been executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary. Before that, she was executive vice president and US general counsel at Biotronik, a commercial-stage medical device company.

Earlier in her career, Schmidt spent 20 years with Novo Nordisk in both Europe and the US, most recently as US corporate vice president for legal affairs. During her time at Novo Nordisk, Schmidt’s work included holding leadership roles in compliance, risk management, licensing, litigation, advertising, pricing and promotion.

‘We are excited to have Joan join the Arena team,’ Munshi says in a statement. ‘Joan has an extensive and proven track record leading later-stage and commercial-stage corporate legal and governance activities for companies with a global footprint.

‘On behalf of myself and the Arena board of directors, we would like to express our deepest appreciation to Steven for his leadership during his many years with Arena. During Steven’s tenure as general counsel, he has played a critical role in the company’s success. Importantly, through difficult times, his stewardship was central to the transition and evolution we underwent three years ago.’


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