- Sam Isaly, the 72-year-old founder of the $US14 billion biotech hedge fund OrbiMed, is stepping down from his position as managing partner.
- The firm said Thursday that the move is “pursuant to years-long succession planning discussions.”
- The news comes just days after Stat News detailed sexual harassment allegations against Isaly from former female employees.
Sam Isaly, the founder of biotech’s largest hedge fund, is stepping down from the firm following sexual harassment allegations reported by Stat News on Tuesday.
Isaly, 72, started OrbiMed in 1998. In a statement released Thursday, OrbiMed said that the move is “pursuant to years-long succession planning discussions.”
“I am extremely proud of what my distinguished partners and I have accomplished at OrbiMed and the difference we have made in the lives of patients worldwide,” Isaly said in the statement.
Stat reported Tuesday that former OrbiMed employees experienced lewd jokes, pornography, and sexist comments in the workplace between 2000 and 2015. One instance, experienced by Isaly’s former assistant Delilah Burke, involved Isaly asking Burke to grab a file from his briefcase. When Burke opened the briefcase, a flesh-coloured vibrator was inside. The next thing Burke heard was laughter coming from his office.
“The vibrator thing is when I quit,” Burke told Stat. “It was just, ‘You’re disgusting. I’m leaving. This is it.'”
Isaly told Stat that he did not recall the event.
“The incidents cited are concerning and OrbiMed has retained the services of an outside independent law firm to investigate the matter,” Orbimed told Stat in a statement after the initial report. “OrbiMed takes gender equality seriously and wishes to encourage a supportive work environment and equal opportunity for all employees.”
The announcement of Isaly’s departure came shortly before Stat came out with more allegations against him.
A former intern who worked at the firm in 2008 and 2009 told Stat on Thursday that Isaly often made vulgar comments to women in the office, including comments about their appearances. The intern often encountered female employees crying in the bathroom.