Editas CEO Katrine Bosley leaves at short notice

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about five years in the position
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for Bosley
  • Cindy Collins taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor
  • Bosley said 73 words

(exechange) — Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 22, 2019 — This news came the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Katrine Bosley, chief executive of Editas, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Editas Medicine Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, Katrine S. Bosley leaves her post as Chief Executive Officer at the genome editing company after about five years in the role, effective March 1, 2019.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months was 8.5 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Editas will undertake a search for a successor.

Katrine Bosley’s duties will be taken over in the interim by Cynthia L. (Cindy) Collins, a former Chief Executive Officer of Human Longevity, Inc., as interim Chief Executive Officer.

Already a director

Collins is already a director of Editas. Often a board member is a last resort, someone who is turned to in desperation when a company cannot find suitable candidates. On the other hand, directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Collins understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Editas’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

No reason given

In the announcement, Editas did not explicitly explain the reason for Katrine Bosley’s imminent move, leaving room for speculation.

Precise information regarding Katrine Bosley’s future plans was not immediately available.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for investors when a CEO leaves the position at short notice and without a reasonable explanation.

“Step down”

Editas said: “Katrine Bosley has decided to step down from her role as President and CEO, effective March 1, 2019.”

Editas further said: “On January 19, 2019, Katrine S. Bosley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Editas Medicine, Inc. …, notified the Company that she will step down from her position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company.”

Share price decline

The management change announcement follows a decline in Editas Medicine, Inc.’s share price of 41 percent since March 2018.

Chaired by James C. Mullen

Editas Medicine, Inc. is chaired by James C. Mullen.

In the position of CEO since 2014

Katrine S. Bosley has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Editas Medicine Inc. since June 24, 2014.

Katrine S. Bosley has served as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Company’s board of directors since June 2014.

Prior to joining Editas, Bosley was the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at The Broad Institute, Inc. from September 2013 to May 2014.

She served as Chief Executive Officer of Avila from May 2009 to March 2012, when Avila was acquired by Celgene.

Bosley served as President, Celgene Avilomics Research at Celgene from March 2012 to May 2012.

Before Avila, she served as Vice President, Business Development at Adnexus Therapeutics, Inc., a private biopharmaceutical company, which was purchased by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in 2008, and she was Vice President, Strategic Operations at Adnexus, a Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

She joined Adnexus from Biogen, where she held roles in business development, commercial operations, and portfolio strategy in the United States and Europe.

Earlier, she was part of the healthcare team at the venture firm Highland Capital Partners.

Bosley currently serves as chairman of the board of directors of Genocea Biosciences, Inc., a public biotechnology company, and is a director of Galapagos NV, a public biotechnology company, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), a not-for-profit organization.

Bosley graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in biological sciences.

Bosley also resigned from the Company’s Board of Directors.

Bosley will continue with the Company in an advisory capacity until the end of 2019 to facilitate a smooth transition.


Generally speaking, when a top manager announces to step aside with no permanent successor available, it’s a signal that the change was unplanned and too early.

Generally speaking, potential causes for an unplanned management change can be, among others, disagreement or dispute, health reasons, family reasons and surprising new career opportunities.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the likelihood that a manager was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position.

exechange reached out to Editas and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 4.2019 ($).