Thursday, August 03, 2017

California Stem Cell CEO Search: Lid Still on Until Late September

The  governing board of the $3 billion California stem cell agency, which is seeking a new president, does not plan to have another meeting of its presidential search committee until possibly this fall.

The committee has held only one meeting since May 2, when Randy Mills announced he would be leaving at the first of July.  Maria Millan, formerly vice president for therapeutics, has been serving since July 1 as interim president. She has the backing of Mills to fill the slot permanently. 

The meeting of the search committee occurred July 17. And the agency has remained virtually mum on the process of selecting a new president to oversee what some call the final stage of its life. It is scheduled to run out of cash for new awards in about three years. 

Last Monday (July 31) , the California Stem Cell Report carried an item on the dearth of information about the process of selecting a new president, including the lack of a public timetable and addressing such questions as whether a search firm would be involved. The position carries a salary of up to $575,000.

Following publication of the item, Kevin McCormack, senior director for communications at the agency, sent the following email. 
"Just to be absolutely clear, this is exactly the same process we followed when we were looking for a replacement for Alan Trounson. Then, as now, we did not disclose the results of the closed session meetings of the Presidential Search Subcommittee nor described the contents or outcomes.  From the very beginning of this process, and we mentioned this at the last board meeting, the intention was for the subcommittee to meet and evaluate the options for finding a replacement for Randy and then for the matter to be taken up at the very next meeting of the full ICOC (the governing board). There is no 'lack of information' nor is there any intention of holding another Presidential Search Subcommittee meeting before the full board meeting in September."
The agency, however, has a record of difficulty in recruiting new presidents, including rejected offers and board discord on the desired qualities in a CEO.  It also has in the past disclosed such things as timetables and search firms and more. (See here, here and here.)
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