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Posted: October 22, 2008
Affymetrix Founder and CEO Announces Succession Plan
(Nanowerk News) Affymetrix Inc. today announced that Stephen P.A. Fodor, Ph.D., founder, chairman and CEO, will begin to transfer his CEO responsibilities to Kevin M. King, president of Affymetrix. Assuming the new role of full-time executive chairman, Dr. Fodor will identify and advance new platform technologies and explore new market opportunities for the company. Mr. King will become CEO and a member of the Board of Directors on January 1, 2009.
Dr. Fodor founded Affymetrix to commercialize the high-density arrays that he and his colleagues developed in the late 1980s. The company pioneered transforming paradigm shifts in modern molecular biology. It has opened new markets in whole-genome expression, whole-genome association genetics and set new approaches to clinical diagnostics. Thousands of scientists now use Affymetrix technology, generating more than 14,000 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
"Under Steve's leadership, Affymetrix developed and commercialized a series of breakthrough technologies that continue to advance science and improve human health around the world," said Dr. Paul Berg, Nobel Laureate and a member of the Affymetrix Board of Directors. "Recognizing that Affymetrix operates in a rapidly evolving industry, Steve has chosen to devote his time to exploring next-generation technologies and applications that advance genomic science. He has planned for an orderly management transition that began by hiring Kevin King in January 2007."
"Sequencing of the human genome and the emergence of novel tools in molecular biology continue to open new opportunities in health care and science," said Dr. Fodor. "Affymetrix has an exciting portfolio of next-generation technologies. At the same time, the pace of scientific innovation is fast, and my time is best spent identifying new technologies for the company and accelerating their development for applications in scientific research and the health care enterprise. The Board and I are confident in Kevin's ability to lead the company as he has a keen understanding of Affymetrix' products, markets and challenges. His experience as CEO and president with Thomson Healthcare, the $500 million healthcare and pharmaceutical information services division of Thomson Corporation, as well as his 20-plus years at Hewlett-Packard and GE, has prepared him well for his new role."
"Steve and I have worked closely on a detailed strategic plan for the future," said Kevin King. "I am excited to lead Affymetrix into the expanding opportunities of genetics and healthcare."
Dr. Fodor and colleagues were recognized in 1992 with the AAAS's Newcomb-Cleveland Award for their outstanding paper in Science Magazine describing microarray technology. He has received numerous honors and awards including the Takeda Foundation Award, the Intellectual Property Owner's Distinguished Inventor of the Year Award, the Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award in Biotechnology and Medicine, the Prize in Molecular Bioanalytics and the Economist Innovation Award in Nanotechnology, among others. In addition to serving on corporate boards, Dr. Fodor sits on the Board of Trustees, Carnegie Institution of Washington and the Scientific Advisory Board of the College of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley.
Affymetrix GeneChip® microarray technology is the industry-standard tool for analyzing complex genetic information. After inventing microarray technology in the late 1980s, Affymetrix scientists have been dedicated to developing innovative products that provide researchers with a more complete understanding of the genome. These products continue to accelerate genetic research and enable scientists to develop diagnostics and tailor treatments for individual patients by identifying and measuring the genetic associations with complex diseases.
Today, Affymetrix technology is used by the world's top pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biotechnology companies, as well as leading academic, government and not-for-profit research institutes. More than 1,700 systems have been shipped around the world and more than 14,000 peer-reviewed papers have been published using the technology.
Affymetrix is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., and has manufacturing facilities in Sacramento, Calif., Cleveland, Ohio, and Singapore. The company has about 1,100 employees worldwide and maintains sales and distribution operations across Europe and Asia. For more information about Affymetrix, please visit the company's website at www.affymetrix.com.