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Orchid Spreads Roots

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At first glance, Orchid BioSciences’ recent round of high-level appointments looks like a management overhaul. But according to Dale Pfost, president and CEO, the truth is that the company has finally got “all the key positions filled” and is looking to spread its roots.

The appointments of Jack Ball, Michael Boyce-Jacino, Russell Granzow, James Marcella, and Michael Pettigrew signify the maturation of Orchid, Pfost says. These hires and promotions enable the company to set up individual groups focused on clinical testing services; instrumentation and consumables; and developing intellectual property rights by finding medically important SNPs. “The business really falls very well into those three arenas,” Pfost says.

Boyce-Jacino, the new CTO, was “a leader in the SNP field before 99.9 percent of us knew about SNPs,” says Pfost. Ball will be general manager of Orchid’s life sciences group, and Marcella and Pettigrew will work with him. And as vice president of corporate business development and strategy, Russ Granzow fills the need for “a central person to coordinate [business] collaborations,” Pfost adds.

Orchid’s recruiting efforts may be slowed, but they’re not over. Look for additions in Orchid’s sales, informatics, and clinical applications groups.

For Pfost, the new top guns will mean he finally gets to do his job. Jack Ball says that these positions give the CEO more time for M&A activities. While Pfost won’t be pinned down on specifics, “It is very much an indication that Orchid is looking assertively at ways of building shareholder value,” he says.

— Meredith Salisbury

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