MORRISVILLE – Michelle Keefe, the CEO who spent her 18-month tenure guiding health services giant Syneos Health through its going private transition in a $7 billion deal, has been replaced just days after the deal closed.

“Effectively immediately,” Syneos announced Tuesday.

She is replaced by Colin Shannon, who most recently was chair and CEO of  Raleigh-based PRA Health Sciences, which was sold to ICON for $12 billion in 2021.

Syneos, which has 29,000 employees, closed on the going private deal on Friday.

Top Syneos Health executives will receive more than $50 million as a result of the deal, reports the Triangle Business Journal. (See SEC filings information here.)

Keefe “remains a key member” of the Syneos leadership as well as a board member, according to Syneos.

Shannon also joins the board.

“It is an honor to be tasked with leading Syneos Health at such an exciting time in its evolution,” said Shannon in a statement. “I look forward to working with Michelle and the rest of the leadership team, the Board and our dedicated employees as we push ourselves to new heights. Together, we will continue to deliver on our commitment to customers and strive to provide service that exceeds expectations.”

Shannon worked at PRA for 14 years. He also worked at Wilmington-based PPD, which was acquired by Thermo Fisher in 2021.

“I am excited to work closely with Colin and the full leadership team as we continue to drive our ongoing transformation across our clinical and commercial capabilities,” said Keefe in the announcement. “Syneos Health has become a fully integrated biopharmaceutical leader, offering unique, innovative and technology-enabled solutions to the market, and we are well positioned to build on our momentum.”

Syneos Health goes private after private equity deals; execs land more than $50M