Bill Taaffe transitions into new role after 12 years as president and CEO for ICON Clinical Research-U.S.

Applied Clinical Trials

Dr. John Hubbard succeeds him as president and COO-U.S.

Philadelphia, PA, April 25, 2005 -- On April 1, ICON Clinical Research completed an executive succession plan for its U.S. operations in which John Hubbard, Ph.D., chief operating officer since 1999, took over as president from Bill Taaffe. Taaffe assumes a new part-time role as president of corporate development.

According to Taaffe, ICON's management transition was planned over 18 months ago, when he recommended Dr. Hubbard as his successor. "I had worked with John for four years by then," Taaffe says, "and I knew he had the right skills and abilities for the job."

Stability was the chief reason for the extended transition period, said Dr. Hubbard. "Bill and I have spent the last year and a half making sure that everything was in place for a smooth transfer of responsibilities."

Taaffe, who joined ICON's U.S. office in 1993, presided over 12 successful years of growth and regional expansion. Starting with just nine employees, he grew the company's U.S. clinical operations to more than 1,200 employees by March of 2005, helping ICON become one of the leading CROs in the world today.

Dr. Hubbard was hired by Taaffe in 1999 when, after holding a number of senior management positions in the pharmaceutical and CRO industries, he joined ICON-U.S. as COO.

"I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Bill," says Dr. Hubbard. "There is nobody in this industry better at building relationships. Bill also helped build a robust infrastructure for ICON, which was key to the company going public in 1998."

Since coming to ICON in 1999, Dr. Hubbard has successfully implemented growth plans while controlling costs and improving operating margins for the company. He has also worked to develop strategic customer relationships and expand ICON's drug development services.

According to CEO Peter Gray, the leadership transition at ICON will be smooth and seamless. "When Bill told me he wanted more time to 'smell the roses' I was very pleased that he had successfully groomed John to succeed him," said Gray. "John has proven himself over the last five years and I am confident he will continue to build our services in the US in the years ahead."

Gray added, "Bill's contribution to ICON has been immense and I am delighted he has agreed to remain with ICON, working with John Climax and myself to integrate our recent acquisitions and seek other strategic acquisition opportunities."

ICON is a full-service contract research organization with an unparalleled track record managing Phase I-IV clinical research studies for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and device industries. With more than 37 offices in 23 countries and over 2,600 employees worldwide, ICON has the infrastructure necessary to support the many global mega trials it is currently conducting, but remains flexible enough to provide an individual, highly personalized service for locally managed projects. To learn more about ICON visit