Wednesday, April 16, 2014

California Stem Cell CEO Search: Three to Four Candidates Remain, Fewer Tomorrow

A key panel of the directors of the $3 billion California stem cell agency today is expected to whittle down its list of candidates to become the new CEO of the organization, which is facing financial extinction in 2017.

Currently there are three or four candidates, all from the private sector, the California Stem Cell Report understands. The agency, however, did not comment on the number or nature of the candidates.

Kevin McCormack, senior director of public communications, only said this morning in an email,
“The full board is meeting to interview the short-listed candidates on April 30 at which point we hope they will be able to agree on the top candidate. If that candidate then agrees to take the job the announcement will be made at the May (29) board meeting(in San Diego).”
Today will mark the conclusion of two days of closed-door meetings of the directors' Presidential Search Subcommittee. The focus on industry candidates reflects the agency's push to drive stem cell research into commercialization. The effort is aimed at fulfilling the promises of the 2004 election that created the agency as well as making it more likely to find future sources of funding for the agency, which now subsists on money borrowed by the state. The agency has only $600 million left. Cash for new awards is scheduled to run out in about three years, and no therapies have been produced.

Agency President Alan Trounson announced last fall that he was leaving his $490,008-a-year post to return to Australia. He has continued to fill in on an interim basis.

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