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EXCLUSIVE: Three Celera Executives Leave Company, COO Moves to Applera

NEW YORK, Oct. 31 – Three executives at Celera Genomics, including the company’s chief operating officer, have left the company in the past five weeks, GenomeWeb has learned. 

Peter Chambre, former COO, has left the firm for Applera, Celera’s parent company. Heather Kowalski, a Celera spokeswoman, said he will be working with Tony White, Applera’s chairman, president, and CEO. 

A title for the former COO has not yet been determined, according to his secretary, and it was not immediately clear who will replace him at Celera.

The other two executives who departed Celera are: 

·         J. Paul Gilman, former director of policy planning, left to become assistant administrator for research and development at the Environmental Protection Agency, in Washington, DC. It was not immediately clear who will replace Gilman.

·         Jim Peck, former manager of Celera's online business, has returned to his former employer LexisNexis, where he is now senior vice president and global product officer. He was replaced by Jason Molle, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Celera. 

Two other executives have apparently left Celera, according to a source inside the company. GenomeWeb was unable to learn their names, and Kowalski said she is unaware of these two. 

According to Kowalski, the three confirmed changes were made to help the company through its “transition into the next phase” and to find staff “best fit for [those] roles.” 

“It's just part of the natural evolution of the company,” she said in an interview. “The company is evolving on a lot of levels as we become a full-fledged therapeutic discovery company.”

It was not immediately clear what effect the personnel changes will have on Celera in general or its path from a genomic database provider to a drug-discovery firm in particular.

Chambre, 45, was hired by Celera in July 2000. Before that he served as CEO of Bespak, a drug-delivery group based in the UK. 

Gilman, who was nominated by President George W. Bush on Oct. 25 for the post at the EPA, must be confirmed by the US Senate. He directed research integration and policy planning at Celera since October 1998. 

Peck, 37, joined Celera in December 1999 from LexisNexis, where for 10 years he was responsible for developing internal and end-user software applications. He returns to the online data provider to work in its Bethesda, Md. offices.

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