Sequenom board member Michael Fitzgerald resigned last week after complaining that the firm clouded how and why he left. Fitzgerald, who has been on the firm’s board since it acquired Gemini Genomics in Spetember 2001, said he was pushed out; Sequenom maintains he was simply not renominated.
In his May 14 letter, which appears in Sequenom’s proxy statement, Fitzgerald writes “it had become increasingly apparent to me that the board of Sequenom had ceased properly to exercise its oversight function and challenge management. The failure of the board to subject management performance and planning to appropriate scrutiny represents a serious lack of accountability to an extent that is contrary to the best interests of the shareholders. My own efforts to reverse this trend received no effective support by the other members of the board and were increasingly quite openly shrugged off as an inconvenience and an intrusion, ultimately leading to the proposal that I not be re-nominated.”
Responding to Fitzgerald’s letter, Sequenom writes in its proxy that it “agrees with Mr. Fitzgerald's self-assessment in his letter that he has been very critical of [the company’s] management during his tenure as a director but does not agree with his conclusions or the allegations or characterizations expressed in his letter.”