Michael Fitzgerald resigned from Sequenom's board of directors April 30, and has written a letter explaining his reasons that is sharply critical of the company and its management.
Fitzgerald, who joined the board in September 2001, after the company he chaired, Gemini Genomics, was acquired by Sequenom, had not been recommended for re-election to the board after his term was to end May 30.
In the letter, published May 15 in an 8-K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Fitzgerald states that he resigned because an April 23 proxy statement issued by the company "was not fully candid in that it gave no hint of the background or the decision not to re-nominate me to the Board." He also alleged that prior to his resignation, "the Board of Sequenom had ceased properly to exercise its oversight function and challenge management," and that this "serious lack of accountability" was contrary to the shareholders best interests.
Fitzgerald noted that the board decided not to renew his term without his consent and "even before its own consultation procedures had been observed." Finally, he asserted that Sequenom management "enjoys remuneration which is excessive and unwarranted, particularly in light of the company's performance and the value being delivered to shareholders."
The board responded to Fitzgerald's request May 19, stating that it "agrees with Mr. Fitzgerald's self-assessment in his letter that he has been very critical of the registrant's management during his tenure as director, but does not agree with his conclusions or the allegations or characterizations expressed in his letter." This response was filed as a Schedule 14A with the SEC May 19.
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