Sunday, November 17, 2013

California's Stem Cell CEO Search: Directors Emphasize Speed, Job Description Changes Underway

Directors of the California stem cell agency are rejiggering the job description for the new president of the $3 billion research enterprise, including possibly language that says that the person does not necessarily have to be a scientist.

The directors' Presidential Search Subcommittee met last Friday to take its first crack at the task of hiring someone to replace Alan Trounson, who is returning to his home in Australia to rejoin his wife and family. The agency has also posted a request for bids from executive search firms to assist in the task.

The California Stem Cell Report queried the agency about the outcome of Friday's meeting, some of which occurred behind closed doors. Kevin McCormack, a spokesman for the agency, said via email,
“There are a number of revisions being made to the (job) description to update it and that will be circulated to the subcommittee when they are done.”
We asked specifically about the language in the description that said the new CEO had to have “scientific credibility” but omitted a requirement that the person be a scientist. McCormack replied,
“There were so many suggestions on what to include in the criteria that I would be hesitant to definitively say what's in and what isn't. Hopefully we'll have the new criteria shortly.
“There was one very clear message that we want to expedite this to get a new president as quickly as possible.”
McCormack said the subcommittee will meet again before the full board meeting that begins Dec. 10.

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