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Acquisition Surprise Oust for Whiteley, Rest of InforMax to Uproot


With its acquisition by Invitrogen sealed in mid-December, InforMax officially began 2003 as a standalone division of the Carlsbad, Calif.-based life science firm. But signs of InforMax’s absorption into Invitrogen are just beginning to surface.

In early January, InforMax laid off 33 employees in a move to eliminate redundancy and cut costs, COO and CFO John Green says. The new subsidiary will move its 120 remaining Bethesda, Md.-based employees to an Invitrogen primer manufacturing facility in Frederick, Md. (Its 20 employees doing contract programming work for the NIH will remain in place.)

Integration-related changes are evident from the top levels on down: Although Invitrogen originally said it would keep InforMax CEO Andrew Whiteley as president of the division, he is no longer with the company. Green will oversee the daily operations of the unit, and will report directly to new Invitrogen CEO Jim Glynn. The balance of the InforMax management team, including CSO Steve Lincoln, VP of marketing Janet Lynch Lambert, and VP of sales John Lippard, remains intact.

Some industry observers have remarked that Invitrogen’s track record of gutting the companies it acquires, such as Life Technologies and Research Genetics, increases the likelihood that another round of layoffs will soon hit InforMax’s employees. Others, however, note that the InforMax business is sufficiently different from Invitrogen’s to warrant its healthy — and long-lived — existence as a standalone business unit.

— Bernadette Toner


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