Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Blake Wise
President and Secretary
Mr. Wise became Chief Executive Officer, and joined the Company’s Board of Directors, in January 2018; in mid-2019, associated with the Chapter 11 filing by the Company, Mr. Wise became President and Secretary. Mr. Wise joined Achaogen as Chief Operating Officer in 2015 and, in February 2017 he was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Achaogen, Mr. Wise spent 13 years at Genentech, where he established and led the Cross BioOncology franchise as Vice President, Cross BioOncology. In this role, Mr. Wise spearheaded cross-portfolio initiatives designed to drive the $10B US BioOncology business and the company’s long-term oncology strategy. During his time at Genentech, Mr. Wise also held several other leadership positions of increasing responsibility, including Senior Director, Franchise Head and Life Cycle Leader of the Lytics franchise, with overall commercial responsibility for Genentech’s hospital-based Lytics business. He previously served as a Sales Director in BioOncology, Marketing Director in Cystic Fibrosis and Immunology, and Interactive Marketing Director where he built Genentech’s digital marketing capabilities. Prior to joining Genentech in 2002, Mr. Wise worked in consumer marketing, e-commerce and online marketing outside of the healthcare industry in leadership positions at Gap, Inc. and Webvan.
Mr. Wise currently serves on the board of directors of Calithera Biosciences, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Wise received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics from University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Masters of Business Administration degree from University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business.
Kent Lieginger Pharm.D.

Dr. Lieginger has served on Achaogen’s board of directors since March 2015.  Dr. Lieginger has most recently served as Senior Vice President, Managed Care and Customer Operations at Genentech from 2004 to July 2014, as well as Director of the Genentech Foundation from 2010 to 2012. He joined Genentech as Vice President, Managed Care and Customer Operations in 2004 and served as a member of Genentech’s Commercial Leadership Committee. Prior to joining Genentech, Dr. Lieginger was Vice President, National Insurer and Employer Segment (Managed Markets Division) at GlaxoSmithKline plc, where he also led teams in U.S. and global business development, finance, strategic contracting, manufacturing, marketing, and sales.

Dr. Lieginger completed his residency in clinical pharmacy at the University of California in San Francisco, served for four years as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. Dr. Lieginger served on the Board of Trustees at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia from 2013 to 2017.


John W. Smither
Chief Financial Officer, Sienna Biopharmaceuticals

Mr. Smither has served on Achaogen’s board of directors since December 2013. Mr. Smither has served as Chief Financial Officer of Sienna Biopharmaceuticals since April 2018. From November 2017 to April 2018, Mr. Smither served as Interim CFO for Kite Pharma, a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences. From January 2016 to July 2017, Mr. Smither served as Chief Financial Officer of Unity Biotechnology. From January 2016 to March 2017, Mr. Smither also served as Chief Financial Officer of Sienna Biopharmaceuticals a biotechnology company. Prior to that, Mr. Smither was the Chief Financial Officer of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals from November 2007 until it was acquired by Allergan in October 2015 for $2.1 billion. As CFO of Kythera, he was responsible for finance during multiple private and public capital raising rounds including the Company’s IPO and subsequent follow-on offerings, licensing and repurchasing of the international rights of its lead product to Bayer, and placement of several venture debt facilities. From 1998 to 2007, Mr. Smither held various positions at Amgen. Including Vice President of Finance and Administration of Amgen’s European Division, Head of Internal Audit, and Executive Director of Corporate Accounting. Prior to joining Amgen, Mr. Smither served as Audit Partner at Ernst & Young LLP, a public accounting firm, and following his time at Ernst & Young had served as the Chief Financial Officer of several early stage companies. 

Mr. Smither received a B.S. in Business Administration from California State University, Los Angeles. Mr. Smither is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and Financial Executives International.