February 21, 2024
Illumina CEO Francis deSouza unveils the NovaSeq X Collection sequencing platforms in 2022. Courtesy of the corporate

Illumina CEO Francis deSouza survived a problem to his board seat from company raider Carl Icahn final week by securing greater than twice the shareholder votes than the quantity his challenger obtained, the corporate mentioned in a submitting on Tuesday.

Whereas the result of the vote was recognized, the tally had not been beforehand disclosed. It provides deSouza legitimacy to hold on after Icahn mustered sufficient shareholder help to oust Illumina’s board chair John Thompson and set up one in every of his board nominees, Andrew Teno.

Icahn tried to switch each deSouza and Thompson on the board and mentioned he needs former Illumina CEO Jay Flatley to return to run the San Diego-based genetic sequencing firm. The corporate’s share worth misplaced 18.4% within the final 52 weeks.

A yr in the past deSouza was the corporate’s high vote getter with 130,098,117 votes solid for him. This yr he obtained 93,110,014 votes, beating out solely Thompson and all three of Icahn’s nominees.

Teno obtained 77,769,509 votes whereas Thompson obtained 45,091,516 votes. The 2 different Icahn nominees obtained the fewest votes.

Icahn criticized Illumina, together with deSouza and Thompson, for its $7.1 billion acquisition of most cancers take a look at maker Grail. Illumina accomplished the deal over the objections of U.S. and European antitrust regulators, who are actually attempting to pressure the corporate to unwind it.

Illumina misplaced $50 billion in market worth following the deal as buyers fret it could be compelled to divest Grail at a giant loss.

Illumina has mentioned it’s going to develop its board from 9 members to 11 and has interviewed chiefs of publicly traded firms with healthcare expertise and chief monetary officers of publicly traded firms with Wall Avenue expertise to hitch. It is going to additionally elect a brand new board chair.

Activist buyers are more and more calling for high executives to get replaced, with Insightia information exhibiting they pushed for the removing of personnel at 60 firms final yr, a 46% soar from the yr earlier than and the very best quantity since 2017.