Melinta Theapeutics Inc. and Cempra Inc. have named veteran pharmaceutical executive Dan Wechsler president, CEO and board member of the combined company.

Wechsler is a seasoned pharmaceutical executive with more than 25 years of healthcare experience across multiple companies and geographies, and a proven record of strategic, operational and commercial success. His notable antibiotics experience includes the commercialization of Zyvox (linezolid), an antibiotic that achieved blockbuster status.

Wechsler started his career with The Upjohn Company selling antibiotics and other pharmaceutical products. He subsequently led the team at Pharmacia Corporation that launched Zyvox until the company’s acquisition by Pfizer and has held senior positions at Pfizer Inc, Schering-Plough Corporation and Merck & Co. In 2010, Wechsler joined Bausch + Lomb Incorporated as executive vice president and global president of pharmaceuticals, where he led a greater than one billion dollar global pharmaceutical business prior to the sale of the company to Valeant Pharmaceuticals for $8.7 billion.

Most recently, Wechsler served as president and CEO of Smile Brands, Inc. until its sale in 2016, at which time he joined Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe as an operating partner.

“His outstanding leadership, track record of success and keen focus on execution will serve the combined company well as we transition into the next stage of growth and innovation,” said Garheng Kong, MD, PhD, chairman of the board of directors of Cempra.

Wechsler’s appointment as president and CEO is subject to and effective upon the closing of the merger between Melinta and Cempra.

New Haven, Conneticutt-based Melinta Therapeutics. is dedicated to saving lives threatened by the global public health crisis of bacterial infections, through the development and commercialization of novel antibiotics that provide new and better therapeutic solutions.

Chapel HIll-based Cempra is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing differentiated anti-infectives for acute care and community settings to meet critical medical needs in the treatment of infectious diseases.