Monday, April 25, 2005

Will the New Stem Cell CEO Be a Surfer?

By the time you read this, the stem cell site selection committee will have finished its 7 a.m. meeting, but the real news this morning is found in two paragraphs buried deep in the background material for the session.

It tells us that if the top candidate likes opera, San Francisco could become the new headquarters for the stem cell agency. But if surfing and a truly wonderful climate are what matters, San Diego could get the nod. If it is professional basketball (Go Kings!) and skiing in the Sierra, Sacramento looks better.

We remarked on Jan. 27(“The CEO Reality”) that the most important factor in corporate location decisions is the desire of the CEO.

Walter Barnes, chief administrative officer of the stem cell agency, reinforced that in a letter to Julie Wright, president of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. He was responding to some of Wright's concerns about the site selection process.

“At the most recent meeting of the ICOC on April 7, 2005,” Barnes wrote, “several members expressed the opinion that a decision on the headquarters site was a critical element of the recruitment for a permanent president. Your comment that the 'location of the job should not matter to the right candidate and that all postings should be viewed as interim' is disputed by Spencer Stuart – the presidential search firm hired by the ICOC. They have told the ICOC that a mid-May decision is needed. For example, a candidate with school-aged children will be able to relocate his or her family without inconvenience that might prevent him or her them from accepting an offer made at a later date.

“The Presidential Search Committee has adopted a plan of its own to make a decision on a recommendation at a meeting planned to be held on May 18, 2005. A decision on the headquarters site by May 6, 2005 will allow that Committee to ensure that uncertainty of location will not affect the finalist recommendations for the presidency of the CIRM.”

Perhaps the competing cities should plug themselves into the presidential search process for a little lobbying with the job candidates. However, some might think that would be unseemly.

On another recruitment note, some experts believe it is better to move children during the school year as opposed to summer. During the summer, displaced children have less to do – no school, etc. So they have more time to whine as they contemplate the loss of their old friends and environs.

As for the site selection subcommittee meeting, the finalist cities are seeking to have their scores changed. The recommendation to the committee was to alter the scores slightly, but that did not change the pre-meeting rankings that left San Francisco No. 1 and Sacramento No. 2.

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1 comment:

  1. Do you want to know why San Francisco was picked up as a Stem Cell Research Hub? Here is the San Francisco Virtual Tour:

    San Francisco Click