Talk to Bob Monaghan long enough, and you begin to get the feeling that the past few years of market slump were all a bad dream. The new CEO of Zyomyx is busily signing deals, ramping up manufacturing, and adding to his operations and sales and marketing teams. “We have exceptional growth potential here,” he says.
And no, he hasn’t Rip-van-Winkled his way through the downturn. He just had a different view of it: as president of Sigma Diagnostics, a unit of Sigma Aldrich, he saw an industry with an outlook that could actually be worse than the one facing genomics and proteomics. “Diagnostics is flat [growth] to decline,” says Monaghan, 57. “Life science is the growth area.” He began looking around for a life sciences organization that stood to have an impact in the healthcare arena.
So after nearly five years with Sigma and previous work at Dade Behring, he jumped on the opportunity to take over at Zyomyx, known for its protein analysis products. When he started in May, his first project was to assess the company — where it stood, what customers thought, how its branding was doing. “The feedback from customers was extremely positive,” he says.
In response to that, Monaghan decided that the company had to be more aggressive. “We needed a stronger commercial focus,” he says. Early trips took him to Japan “to work some collaborations and business deals … and expand our market penetration.” That won’t be the only stop. “We’ll be doing that in other areas of the world as well,” he adds.
Monaghan has been pleased with the success of Zyomyx’s product offering. “We’re able to provide to the customer a discovery tool that isn’t available anywhere else,” he says. And despite the faltering economy, he remains an optimist. “The tools piece of the business is starting to rebound,” he says. His firm is “forecasting an uptick in the business. … Overall, [it’s] starting to gain momentum again.”
— Meredith Salisbury