Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CIRM Hires Levin to Help Find New VP

The California stem cell agency has hired the self-styled “boutique” executive search firm of Levin & Company, Inc., to help find a vice president for research, a new position created in the wake of the sudden departure of Marie Csete as chief scientific officer earlier this year.

According to CIRM, Levin has signed a $100,000 contract with the agency. Levin beat out Korn/Ferry International, McCormack & Farrow, Caliber Associates, Russell Reynolds Associates, Spencer Stuart and The A-list.

Csete announced her resignation in June and subsequently told Nature magazine that her advice was not respected.

CIRM President Alan Trounson created the new research and development position with an eye to attracting candidates with more commercial research backgrounds. CIRM's salary range for the position tops out at $332,000.

In its proposal, the firm said,
“While we recognize that CIRM may have limitations on what it can offer (such as a bonus), we have had demonstrated experience in recruiting for clients with similar restrictions, such as early stage companies which are unable to offer bonuses, or international clients which cannot provide an equity package.”
Levin has a long history in the life sciences industry. In its proposal, it said it had completed search assignments for CEOs for the following stem cell-connected firms: Osiris Therapeutics, Cellerant Therapeutics, StemCells, Inc., and ViaCell.

The firm said its CEO, Christos Richards (see photo), would personally lead the search, personally interview each finalist and negotiate the final package.

Levin projected a timetable of four to six months from the beginning of the search (Aug. 24) to the start date of the vice president. It said the period could be shorter but said “a search taking longer than six months leaves the potential for a dissatsified client.”

Levin, which has its corporate office in Boston, also has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Pennsylvania. Sphere: Related Content

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