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Orchid Sacks CEO Pfost; Interim Chief Not Named

This update serves to detail the nature of Pfost's departure.


NEW YORK, Dec. 9 - Orchid Biosciences President and CEO Dale Pfost resigned today, Orchid said. The company, which will not name an interim chief, said it hopes to hire a successor sometime in the first quarter.


Additionally, Orchid said Donald Marvin, general manager of the firm's Diagnostics unit, has left. A company spokeswoman said Orchid has no current plans to replace him.


The spokeswoman, Tracy Henrikson, said Orchid's board and Pfost have agreed that it was time for him to move on. "The board and Dale mutually agreed recently that it was appropriate to bring on a CEO with a track record of successfully managing profitable enterprises," she said.


George Poste, Orchid's newly appointed chairman, said in a statement that the company has made "substantial progress over the last few months in sharpening Orchid's business focus, significantly reducing our operating expenses and taking actions to strengthen our balance sheet."


He added that in the coming weeks, "I look forward to reporting on advancements in our activities to disposition the Orchid Life Sciences business, to further strengthen our cash position and to augment our senior management team."


The phrase 'strengthen our cash position' does not indicate impending layoffs, but rather a closure of a critical bank loan Orchid has been trying to secure since the fall, Henrikson said. Asked about the status of the Life Sciences business, which the company has decided to abandon in favor of the less-crowded forensics and paternity-testing markets, Henrikson said Orchid expects to sell it within the next three weeks.

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