SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Affymetrix, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFFX) today announced that Dr. Frank Witney has been appointed president and chief executive officer, effective July 1, 2011. Dr. Witney joins Affymetrix with 30 years of experience in the life science research products and diagnostic and analytical instrument industry, having served in senior leadership positions at Dionex, Panomics, Affymetrix and Bio-Rad. Dr. Witney will also be appointed to the company’s board of directors. Dr. Witney will succeed Kevin M. King who has resigned as Affymetrix’s president and chief executive officer, effective June 30, 2011, to pursue other interests.
Most recently, Dr. Witney served as president and chief executive officer of Dionex Corporation, which completed its $2.1 billion sale to Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO) in May 2011. Prior to joining Dionex in April 2009, Dr. Witney served as executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Affymetrix, following Affymetrix’s acquisition of Panomics, Inc. in December 2008. Dr. Witney was president and chief executive officer of Panomics from 2002 until 2008.
“Our Board is delighted to welcome Frank back to Affymetrix and believe he is the right person to lead the company through its next phase of growth and development,” said Stephen P.A. Fodor, Ph.D., founder and chairman of Affymetrix’s board of directors. “Frank is a seasoned healthcare executive with proven operational and financial expertise built over an impressive 30-year career and we are confident that his extensive market knowledge, international experience and operational insight will be of enormous value to Affymetrix.”
Commenting on his appointment, Dr. Witney said, “This is an exciting opportunity for me. I am very pleased to be rejoining Affymetrix, a company that has made significant contributions over many years to healthcare research. I know the company well and believe there is significant untapped potential. Affymetrix has a strong technology base, a valuable portfolio of innovative products and solutions, long standing and strong customer relationships, and deeply talented employees. I look forward to working with the board of directors, executive team and Affymetrix’s exceptional employees to enhance the company’s market position and accelerate its growth and success.”
Dr. Fodor added, “We thank Kevin for his contributions as Affymetrix’s president and CEO. Under Kevin’s leadership, Affymetrix’s operating cost structure improved, gross margins were expanded and the Company returned to operating profitability. Today Affymetrix is well-positioned for future success and has a strong balance sheet with more than $240 million of cash as of March 31, 2011. We wish Kevin every success in his future pursuits.”
Prior to his role at Panomics, Dr. Witney served as president of Drug Discovery Tools at PerkinElmer Life Sciences, assuming this position after PerkinElmer's acquisition of Packard BioScience in 2001, where he served as president and chief operating officer. From 1983 to 2000, Dr. Witney held a series of research and general management positions at Bio-Rad Laboratories and led the company's efforts to enter rapidly growing markets for proteomic and bioassay technologies, culminating as group operations manager of the Life Science Group. Dr. Witney was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health from 1980 to 1983 and holds a doctorate in molecular and cell biology from Indiana University. He earned an undergraduate degree in microbiology from the University of Illinois. Dr. Witney currently serves on the board of directors of One Lambda Inc., DVS Sciences Inc. and RareCyte Inc.
Affymetrix technology is used by the world's top pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and biotechnology companies, as well as leading academic, government, and nonprofit research institutes. More than 2,100 systems have been shipped around the world and over 26,000 peer-reviewed papers have been published using the technology. Affymetrix is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and has manufacturing facilities in Cleveland, Ohio, and Singapore. The Company has more than 900 employees worldwide and maintains sales and distribution operations across Europe, Asia and Latin America. For more information about Affymetrix, please visit the Company's website.
All statements in this press release that are not historical are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act as amended, including statements regarding Affymetrix' "expectations," "beliefs," "hopes," "intentions," "strategies" or the like. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially for Affymetrix from those projected, including, but not limited to: the Company’s ability to hire and retain key personnel, risk relating to the Company's ability to successfully commercialize new products, risk relating to past and future acquisitions, including the ability of the Company to successfully integrate such acquisitions into its existing business; risks of the Company's ability to achieve and sustain higher levels of revenue, higher gross margins and reduced operating expenses; uncertainties relating to technological approaches, risks associated with manufacturing and product development; uncertainties relating to cost and pricing of Affymetrix products; dependence on collaborative partners; uncertainties relating to sole-source suppliers; uncertainties relating to FDA and other regulatory approvals; competition; risks relating to intellectual property of others and the uncertainties of patent protection and litigation. These and other risk factors are discussed in Affymetrix' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and other SEC reports. Affymetrix expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in Affymetrix' expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based.