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Affy Hopes to Round out New Management Team with Life Sciences GM

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Afffymetrix plans to add a general manager for life sciences to its management team in the near future, according to a company official.

Greg Schiffman, Affy's chief financial officer, said last week that the firm is looking to "bring in a general manager for its life sciences business" with first-hand experience in the industry.

"This will really augment Affymetrix's skills in terms of developing the technology … in a crisp and clean fashion," Schiffman said. He made his remarks during Nasdaq's 17th Annual Investor Program, held in London.

It is unclear how Affy will structure its businesses in the future, but with the impending launch of its clinical labs division — slated for the second half of this year — it is evident that the firm is diversifying its approaches to the marketplace (see BAN 1/31/2006).

The company could not be reached for further comment about its search for a general manager of life sciences.

Affy has recently undergone a shakeup in management. Most prominently, Sue Siegel resigned as president the day before the company released its first-quarter results in April. Affy has yet to name a new president, and company co-founder, CEO, and chairman Stephen Fodor has assumed Siegel's administrative responsibilities (see BAN 4/25/2006).

In April, Fodor said that Affy, which has recently endured a poorer-than-forecasted financial performance, as well as a decline in stock price, was having difficulty moving its products from development into the marketplace.

"While there is strong demand for genetic tools, we need to be more effective with our execution," Fodor said. "Our challenge has been the effective integration of the process from product development, through commercial introduction, to post-sales, service, and support."

As part of its management overhaul in April, Thane Kreiner, formerly Affy's vice president of corporate affairs, was named senior vice president of marketing and sales, and Richard Rava, the scientific co-founder of Affymetrix, was appointed to head of product development.

Affy has also seen several of its administrative officials leave the company. Both Mitchell Kennedy, who previously served as vice president of global technical support and general manager of Affy's international trading business unit, and Martha Trela, Affy's former vice president of commercial marketing, have left in recent months (see BAN 4/25/2006, BAN 5/30/2006).

In addition, the firm named Cynthia French to head its Clinical Laboratories division earlier this year (see BAN 2/28/2006).

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