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— COO Kenneth D. Knight named CEO succeeding Sean George; Dr. George to continue as member of Board of Directors —
— Co-Founder and former CEO Randy Scott returns as chairman —
— Current chairman Eric Aguiar to serve as lead independent director —
SAN FRANCISCO, July 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Invitae (NYSE: NVTA), a leading medical genetics company, today announced executive leadership and Board changes to help ensure the company realizes the full potential of its industry-leading genetics testing platform and delivers tangible and sustainable value for stockholders. Specifically, Kenneth D. Knight, who has served as Invitae's chief operating officer since 2020, is succeeding Sean George, Ph.D., as CEO and is joining the Board of Directors. Additionally, Randy Scott, Ph.D., Invitae's co-founder, former CEO from 2012 to 2017, and former executive chairman from 2017 to 2019, is returning to the company as chairman of the Board. Eric Aguiar, who has served as Invitae's independent chairman since 2019 and a member of the Board since 2010, is now serving as lead independent director. The changes are effective immediately.
Dr. George, co-founder and CEO of Invitae since 2017, will serve as a consultant to the company through a transition period and will retain his role as a member of the Invitae Board.
Mr. Knight is a growth-oriented business leader and operations executive with more than three decades of multi-industry experience at Invitae, Amazon, Caterpillar and General Motors. Immediately prior to joining Invitae as COO in June of 2020, he spent four years overseeing Amazon's transportation services, global delivery services and global fulfillment human resources and operations. Since joining Invitae, Mr. Knight has guided the realignment of the company's go-to-market strategy, led efforts to improve revenue quality and driven steady increases in variable cost productivity. His immediate priorities as CEO will include a sharpened focus on Invitae's core, more profitable business lines and accelerated work to right-size the company's cost structure. Success on these fronts will, in turn, lead to sustainably higher margin growth and an extension of Invitae's cash runway ahead of cash flow positivity.
Dr. Aguiar commented, "Invitae's competitive advantages are well-established: an industry-leading genetics testing platform, excellent relationships with patients and providers alike and a relentless focus on lowered costs and accessibility. Ken understands these attributes incredibly well and is the ideal leader to harness them in an accelerated drive towards positive cash flow. We have seen firsthand during Ken's tenure as COO – and in his prior experience at diversified, large-scale enterprises – that he will deliver operational execution and cost discipline while preserving the innovation-first culture that is at the heart of the Invitae model. The company will unquestionably benefit from his leadership as CEO, his deep understanding of Invitae and its growth drivers and his commitment to securing a successful, sustainable operating platform for the long term.
"At the same time, Randy's return as chairman will allow Invitae to continue to benefit from cutting-edge science, deep industry leadership and unparalleled institutional knowledge," Dr. Aguiar continued. "The combination of Ken and Randy brings together two highly complementary leaders committed to capitalizing on Invitae's exceptional opportunities and delivering value to our stakeholders."
Dr. Scott helped lead Invitae through its inception and continued growth both as an executive of the company and member of the Board through 2019. Dr. Scott has a distinguished history as a pioneer in the genomics industry and has played a founding role in a number of successful life sciences companies.
Dr. Aguiar concluded, "On behalf of the Board, we thank Sean for his visionary leadership as Invitae's co-founder and CEO. His commitment to Invitae's mission, and the successful build-out of the company's genetic testing capabilities has established Invitae's place at the forefront of the industry in shaping the future of medicine."
Mr. Knight said, "I am honored to take on the CEO role and lead Invitae forward at this important inflection point, as we expand our critical efforts to focus on our most promising, profitable aspects of our businesses, drive increased operating efficiency and successfully navigate the current macro environment. It has been a privilege to work side by side with Sean, and I look forward to partnering with Randy and our team to build upon our strong foundation and further position Invitae for a bright future – advancing our mission of bringing the power of genetic information to mainstream medicine."
"We are in the early stages of a genomics revolution that will transform medicine," said Dr. Scott. "Invitae is a special organization with talented team members, powerful growth drivers and a visionary path to deliver innovative genomics to the world. I'm excited to work together with the Board and management team to help accelerate Invitae's next phase rooted in disciplined execution, delivering for our shareholders and stakeholders and achieving our promise as a transformational platform for genomic medicine."
"When we recruited Ken to Invitae as our COO, we did so with the expectation that his experience and skill set would be ideal in leading the company through its next phase to execute on our long-term strategy and achieve our distinctive vision," Dr. George added. "With the timing now right for this transition, I am honored to pass the baton to Ken and look forward to continuing to support Invitae at the Board level. It has been tremendously rewarding bringing Invitae to life while achieving so many successful milestones over the years with our amazing team."
Kenneth Knight Bio
Kenneth D. Knight has served as Invitae's chief operating officer since June 2020. Prior to joining Invitae, Mr. Knight most recently served as vice president of transportation services at Amazon.com, Inc. from December 2019 to June 2020, and as vice president of Amazon's global delivery services and worldwide fulfillment human resources from April 2016 to December 2019. Prior to his time at Amazon, from 2012 to 2016, Mr. Knight served as general manager of the material handling and underground division, a global business with $6 billion in annual revenue, at Caterpillar Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Knight served in various capacities at General Motors Company for 27 years, including as executive director of global manufacturing engineering and as manufacturing general manager. Since June 2021, Mr. Knight has served as a director and a member of the audit and finance committee of Simpson Manufacturing Co. Inc. Mr. Knight holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an M.B.A from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Randy Scott Bio
Randy Scott, Ph.D. is a co-founder of Invitae Corporation, where he served as chair of the Board of Directors and chief executive officer from August 2012 to January 2017 and executive chair from January 2017 to August 2019. Prior to Invitae, Dr. Scott co-founded Genomic Health, Inc., where he served as chair of the Board of Directors and chief executive officer from 2000 to 2009 and executive chair from 2009 to 2012. Dr. Scott has served on the boards, including as chairman, of numerous public and private life sciences companies, and he is the author of more than 40 scientific publications, the holder of 20 patents and the recipient of numerous awards. Dr. Scott received a B.S. in Chemistry from Emporia State University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Kansas.
Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA) is a leading medical genetics company whose mission is to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medicine to improve healthcare for billions of people. Invitae's goal is to aggregate the world's genetic tests into a single service with higher quality, faster turnaround time, and lower prices. For more information, visit the company's website at invitae.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to the company's beliefs regarding the impact that the organizational restructuring will have on the company's business and financial results; the company's expectations regarding the impact of the leadership changes on the company's business; the company's expectations regarding business priorities, objectives, future growth and industry positioning; and the company's beliefs regarding its vision and business model. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the continued service and success of Mr. Knight and Dr. Scott; the company's ability to successfully alter its course in response to events; the success of company's efforts to achieve operational efficiency and sustainable operating cash flows, and decrease cash burn; the company's history of losses; the impact of inflation and the current economic environment on the company's business; the company's ability to compete; the company's ability to manage growth effectively; the company's need to scale its infrastructure in advance of demand for its tests and to increase demand for its tests; the company's ability to use rapidly changing genetic data to interpret test results accurately and consistently; laws and regulations applicable to the company's business; and the other risks set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks set forth in the company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2022. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and Invitae Corporation disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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SOURCE Invitae Corporation