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Organizational Changes at Illumina Aimed at Growth, New Market Entries

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Illumina today announced sweeping changes to its organization in order to maintain growth in its existing markets and to move into new ones.

In a letter to employees, which was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Illumina President and CEO Jay Flatley laid out the changes, which include the creation of new business units, new roles for existing managers, and the separation of the president's position from Flatley's continued role as CEO.

"These changes will enable us to continue growth in our existing markets, take the next steps to move into new markets, and further catalyze the use of our technologies in the clinic," Flatley said in his letter to employees.

The changes take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

Flatley currently serves as president and CEO of Illumina, but starting in the new year, a new president will be hired. The president will be charged with "envisioning, developing, and producing our products," and will focus on leading Illumina's business units and core functions. That person will report to Flatley.

In the sole role of CEO, Flatley said he will set and drive Illumina's strategic vision and manage the commercial and corporate functions.

The company also is reorganizing into five business units, each with product marketing, market development, technology development, and target informatics resources.

The Life Sciences unit will focus on the company's core platform technologies and the core markets they enable, including complex disease, agrigenomics, microbiology, and metagenomics. A new Custom Products Group is being created, which will concentrate on content development for custom products and infrastructure to develop and manufacture them.

Kirk Malloy, currently VP of Customer Solutions, will lead the unit. Illumina's molecular biology and PCR business will be under Malloy's leadership, as well. Mark Lewis, the current SVP and general manager of this business is retiring, but will provide interim leadership for the customer solutions function as Illumina searches for a new leader for the group.

The Reproductive and Genetic Health business unit will be headed by Tristan Orpin as general manager. He currently is chief commercial officer. The unit will include the Verinata, BlueGnome, and cytogenetics portfolio "and will focus on building a comprehensive, integrated offering in Reproductive Health and patient-directed Genetic Health," Flatley said.

The Oncology business unit will provide tools to the oncology community, which Flatley said is one of the company's largest market opportunities. Rick Klausner, Illumina's chief medical officer, will be interim leader of the unit.

Nick Naclerio will head the Enterprise Informatics business unit, while continuing in his current role as SVP of corporate development. The unit will be involved in storing, analyzing, understanding, and sharing genomic and phenotypic information.

"By establishing a strong focus in enterprise informatics solutions, we will be able to build the foundation upon which institutions can deliver precision medicine using genomic information," Flatley said.

Lastly, Illumina is establishing the New and Emerging Markets business unit so that the company can rapidly "identify, catalyze, and develop new markets and solutions." Matt Posard, the current SVP and general manager of Illumina's Translational and Consumer Genomics business, will head this unit.

In addition to the new business units, Illumina announced changes to its structure and leadership of core functions across the company, centralizing certain functions which will report directly to the president.

Product Development is moving out of the current Genomic Solutions business unit "to become a centralized function that will span systems, assays, consumables, reagents, and software." This organization will be responsible for delivering technology innovation across the company. Omead Ostadan will remain SVP of Product Development.

Also, Greg Heath will move from his current post as SVP and general manager of Illumina's Diagnostic business to become SVP of IVD Development, where he will be in charge of taking the San Diego-based company's technology solutions through the regulatory process. IVD Development will include functions such as medical affairs, clinical trials, and regulatory affairs.

Operations, currently part of Genomic Solutions, will become a centralized function, as well, and be headed by Bob Ragusa, who is joining Illumina in December as SVP of Operations.

Lastly, Quality and Regulatory Affairs will become two separate functions within Illumina. Regulatory Affairs will be folded into IVD Development, and Quality will be a standalone, central function. Melina Cimler will be VP of Quality, which is gaining importance as the company moves further into the clinical markets, Flatley said.

He added that Illumina is consolidating its commercial organization and channel in order to address the increasingly blurred lines between research customers and diagnostic customers that have resulted from rapid technology development. Christian Henry, who currently serves as SVP and general manager of the Genomic Solutions business, will become Illumina's chief commercial officer.

"For me, these changes represent the next step in our evolution, and they will accelerate our growth and expand our reach into new and exciting markets," Flatley said in his letter to employees. "When Illumina was founded, the idea of precision medicine was just a concept; no one knew how it would come to pass. Now, we are on the cusp of it, we are not just talking about it, it's happening."