Corporate executive team
We are a focused organization with the expertise and insights to advance innovative new therapies. With demonstrated clinical development and commercialization expertise, VIVUS is dedicated to addressing the therapeutic needs of patients with serious medical conditions and life-limiting diseases.
Santosh T. Varghese
Dr. Varghese has been the company’s President VIVUS Global Pharmaceutical Development & Chief Medical Officer since October 2022. Prior to that, beginning in February 2020, Dr. Varghese served as the company’s Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Varghese has served in other senior executive roles of escalating scope and responsibilities since joining the company in March 2012 as Vice President, Head of Medical Affairs. Prior to joining the company, Dr. Varghese was Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs at Élan Pharmaceuticals where he led Medical Affairs teams responsible for the BioNeurology portfolio. He held the position of Vice President Primary Care & Cardiovascular in Global Medical Affairs at Schering-Plough/Merck, and also held senior roles at Aventis/Sanofi-Aventis where he contributed to both US and global brand strategy and tactics. Dr. Varghese has served on the Board of Directors of the American Lung Association - New York and was on faculty at Touro University College of Medicine (now New York Medical College). Dr. Varghese earned his M.D. from St. George's University School of Medicine and a B.S. in Biology from Pennsylvania State University. He completed his medical training in the Caribbean, United States, and United Kingdom.
Ms. Larsen has been Chief Strategy Officer (Commercial Operations) since August 2018. Prior to that, Ms. Larsen served as Chief Commercial Officer beginning in December 2016, and Vice President, Marketing overseeing Consumer and Professional Communications, Market Access and Business Analytics from January 2016 to December 2016. She joined VIVUS in February 2015 as Director of Marketing. Prior to joining VIVUS, Ms. Larsen held Global Marketing roles with GSK Consumer Healthcare from 2007 to 2014, with a leadership role in the obesity business since 2010. From 1996 to 2007, Ms. Larsen held the position of Sr. V.P., Management Supervisor at ICC, a Healthcare Communications Agency based in New Jersey. From 1987 to 1996, Ms. Larsen served in several Marketing and Brand Management positions at Novartis. From 2013 to 2014, Ms. Larsen also served on the Board of Directors for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Metro Chapter. Ms. Larsen has a B.S. in Biology from Ramapo College of New Jersey and an M.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Mr. Broman has been Vice President, Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control since February 2009. Mr. Broman joined VIVUS in January 2006 as Senior Director, Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Control. Prior to joining VIVUS, Mr. Broman was Executive Director, Project Management at Durect, Inc. from 2001 to 2005. From 1994 to 2001, Mr. Broman held Senior Management positions in Operation and Project Management at Matrix Pharmaceutical, Inc. From 1988 to 1994 he was Director, Analytical Services at Cygnus, Inc. and from 1976 to 1988, Mr. Broman served in several positions in Syntex Laboratories, Syntex Chemicals Group, Corporate Quality Assurance, and Corporate Technical Services. Mr. Broman has a B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Thomas B. King
Thomas B. King has served as a director of the Company since May 24, 2017. Mr. King has been an independent biotechnology consultant since August 2016. From June 2003 to August 2016, Mr. King served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company. Prior to that, from September 2002 to April 2003, Mr. King served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Cognetix, Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical development-stage company. From January 1994 to February 2001, Mr. King held various senior executive positions at Anesta Corporation, a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company, including President and Chief Executive Officer from January 1997 to October 2000, and was a member of the board of directors until it was acquired by Cephalon, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company. Mr. King currently serves on the board of directors of Faraday Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Satsuma Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Concentric Analgesics, Inc., all privately-held biotechnology companies. Mr. King also serves as a Venture Advisor at SPIRE Bioventures, a multi-disciplinary consortium aiding biotechnology entrepreneurs, and as an Advisory Board Member of the University of Colorado BioFrontiers Institute. Mr. King received a B.A. in chemistry from McPherson College and an M.B.A. from the University of Kansas Graduate School of Business.
John Amos has served as our Chief Executive Officer and a director of the Company since April 2018. From May 2017 to April 2018, he served as the Executive Chairman of Willow Biopharma Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of ORIX Healthcare Capital LLC, a private equity and venture capital investment company, from October 2012 to April 2017. Mr. Amos served as the Operating Partner and Portfolio Company Board Member of BioVeda China Fund, a financial investment company, from February 2008 to October 2012. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of the Oncology Therapeutics Network (acquired by McKesson Corporation in November 2007), a physician services company, from June 2005 to November 2007 and was a special advisor to McKesson Corporation, a public healthcare services company, from November 2007 to May 2008. Mr. Amos served as the President of the Oncology Therapeutics Network of Bristol Myers Squibb, a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, from June 2003 to May 2005. He held executive roles in finance and technology in McKesson Corporation from March 1995 to April 2003. From 1991 to 2003, he served in the United States Air Force and the California Air National Guard in Tactical Fighter Operations. Mr. Amos has previously served on the board of directors of TD2, Navigating Cancer, CITIC Pharmaceuticals, Aesyntix Health, Prodigy Health, Apollo Health Street, Quinian Health, Oncology Therapeutics Network and Matawan Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Amos served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at MD Anderson Cancer Center Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS) and was a health policy advisor to Governor Jeb Bush’s 2016 Presidential Campaign. He has been appointed as a Trustee of the Global Leadership Council of the University of California, Davis Foundation. Mr. Amos has been named to the Information Week Top 500 CIO’s twice, won the Frost and Sullivan Award for Corporate Innovation. He studied Economics at the University of California, Davis and has a B.S. in General Business from the University of the State of New York.
Eve Lai joined as Vice President, Human Resources in September 2021. With over 20 years’ experience in human resources, Ms. Lai has worked at both public and private companies. She has served in global leadership positions in the life sciences and high-tech sectors, most recently as Head of Human Resources for Codexis, Inc., a publicly traded biotech company, from April 2015 to September 2021. From January 2014 to April 2015, Ms. Lai led Human Resources for CollabNet, a privately held company which was part of the Vector Capital portfolio. Ms. Lai was also part of the leadership team merging Micrus Endovascular with Codman Neuro, a Johnson & Johnson company. Prior to Micrus Endovascular, she held management positions with various companies. Ms. Lai earned her M.B.A. from Arizona State University, her B.S. in Hospitality Administration from Georgia State University, and is certified as both SPHR and SHRM-SCP.
Alessandro Giacometti joined VIVUS in October 2022 as Vice President & General Manager Europe. Prior to that, during his 31 years in pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Giacometti served at Roche, Pfizer, sigma-tau and Takeda. He started his career in 1991 at Roche Italy as medical rep in his hometown, Rome. Between 1995 and 1998 he served as the CNS brand manager at Roche Italy, based in Milano’s headquarters. Mid-1998 he joined Pfizer Italy where he held positions in marketing and business development (commercial assessment of pipeline phase II/III). In 2000 he joined sigma-tau, an Italian company, as Marketing Director for the cardiovascular and metabolic portfolio, returning to Pfizer in 2011 being appointed Business Development Team Leader (pipeline and licensing in). In 2005 he started his international career with Pfizer relocating to the UK and taking the role as Team Leader/Marketing Director, Europe & Canada, for the cardiovascular and pain/inflammation categories. In 2011 he was promoted Senior Marketing Director, Emerging Markets leading the team managing the Pfizer portfolio. In late 2012 Mr. Giacometti joined Takeda International, relocating to Switzerland, where he held positions as Head of the Cardiovascular Portfolio, Head of Commercial Assessment of External Opportunities and Global Product Lead until 2016. From July 2016 until August 2022, he served as Takeda’s Global Commercial Lead, leading the global launch of a breakthrough treatment based on stem cells. Mr. Giacometti earned his University Degree in Geology from the University of Rome, “La Sapienza”. Mr. Giacometti, an Italian citizen, will be based in Switzerland where he lives with his family.
Melissa Shields has been serving as the Vice President of Business Analytics & Digital Marketing since January 2022. She joined VIVUS in 2015 as an area manager, in September 2018, she served as the Director of Marketing and Commercial Operations for Qsymia and in June 2020 she assumed the position of Head of Business Analytics & Digital Marketing. Ms. Shields has over 20+ years in the pharmaceutical industry, and over 15 years in leadership/sales management across multiple therapeutic areas. Before joining VIVUS, Melissa served at Eisai, Endo, Alpharma, & Women’sFirst. Melissa has a B.S. from Southern Nazarene University in Business Organizational Leadership, and an MBA in Marketing & E-commerce from the University of Phoenix. Beyond her professional commitments, Melissa is a passionate advocate for community well-being. She currently lends her expertise as a board member for the non-profit organization, Operation Bliss.
Charlie Swanson has been Vice President of North America Sales since January 2022. Mr. Swanson joined VIVUS in June 2012 and has served as District Sales Manager, National Sales Director, and Head of Sales. Mr. Swanson has over 30 years of leadership experience in pharmaceutical sales, spanning multiple therapeutic areas. Before joining Vivus, Charlie served at Searle, Pfizer and Novartis pharmaceutical companies. Mr. Swanson retired as a colonel in 2006, after serving over 25 years as a Field Artillery officer in the United States Army and United States Army Reserve. Mr. Swanson has a B.S. in Science and Engineering from the United States Military Academy, at West Point, and a M.A. in Public Administration from Golden Gate University.
Kristina Warga joined VIVUS as Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer in May 2023. Prior to that, Ms. Warga was Vice President & Corporate Controller for Zosano Pharma Corporation, overseeing the Finance and Information Technology functions. In her career, she has worked for large multi-national companies across multiple industries and geographies. From 2013 to 2020, Ms. Warga worked for Bio-Rad Laboratories, first as a division controller and then leading the Global Supply Chain Finance team. Ms. Warga holds a B.S. in Accounting from Clarkson University.
Mr. Clark has been the company’s Vice President, Marketing & Commercial Operations North America since March 2023. Prior to that, beginning in October 2018, Mr. Clark served as the company’s Senior Director of Marketing & Commercial Operations. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Clark was Senior Director of US Marketing at Impax Specialty Pharmaceuticals where he led Marketing teams responsible for the development of the US brand strategy and tactics to successfully drive growth of the Neurology portfolio. He has held leadership roles in both Sales & Marketing at Pfizer and Novartis. Mr. Clark earned his B.S. Degree in Molecular Biology from Grove City College.
Craig Peterson was appointed to the position of Vice President, Clinical Research in April 2023. Prior to this appointment, his career at VIVUS dates back to 1993, and he has held several positions of increasing responsibility for clinical research and development over this time. During his tenure at VIVUS, Mr. Peterson has contributed to the design, conduct, and reporting of results for clinical trials, to the submission of New Drug Applications to FDA, and to marketing applications to foreign regulatory agencies. Outside of VIVUS, Mr. Peterson has also held clinical research and development positions at Syntex Laboratories, and in the CRO industry. Mr. Peterson holds a BA in Pharmacology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a MS in Physiology from Stanford University.