Mr Holden, who is moving his family from Illinois to Cambridge, was in charge of global marketing for Baxter's renal products. Before that, he worked as a management consultant, after abandoning a PhD in psychology.
The company has not yet settled its dispute with Tony Martin, the former chief executive who received no compensation when he left. In May he said he would sue the company for wrongful dismissal. Celsis said it hoped the matter would be resolved soon.
The company, which makes microbe diagnostic kits, has added Colgate-Palmolive to its customer list, which includes Merck, Wellcome, Unilever and Cadbury Schweppes.
Celsis, floated just over a year ago, has five products. A digital contamination detection kit is due for launch in January.Reuse content