Codexis CEO John Nicols leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After around 10 years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Nicols
  • Stephen Dilly taking over
  • Nicols spoke at length and said 195 words

(exechange) — Redwood City, California, July 18, 2022 — John Nicols, chief executive of Codexis, leaves. As announced by Codexis Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, July 18, 2022, John J. Nicols leaves his post as chief executive officer at the enzyme engineering company, after around 10 years in the role, effective August 8, 2022.

John Nicols’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Stephen Dilly, a former Chief Executive Officer at Sierra Oncology, Inc.

Already a director

Dilly is already a director of Codexis. Generally speaking, most director-turned-CEO appointments occur following a sudden resignation of the outgoing CEO and signal a lack of preparedness on the company’s part to groom internal talent. 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, Dilly understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Codexis’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

“Family reasons”

John Nicols’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Codexis said: “John Nicols will retire as President and CEO for family reasons after leading the company’s transformation and subsequent growth for the last decade.”

Precise information regarding John Nicols’s future plans was not immediately available.


Codexis said: “Dr. Dilly succeeds John Nicols, the Company’s current President and Chief Executive Officer, who notified the Board of his intention to retire from such roles effective August 8, 2022.”

Share price decline since July 2021

The announcement follows a decline in Codexis Inc.’s share price of 70% since July 2021.

In the position of CEO since 2012

John Nicols became CEO of the Company in 2012.

Nicols will remain on Codexis’ Board through the annual meeting in June 2023 and will assume a new multi-year role as Strategic Advisor to provide ongoing support to the company.

John J. Nicols has served as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and as a director of Codexis since June 2012.

Nicols brings to the Company’s board of directors his knowledge of Codexis as its President and Chief Executive Officer and his extensive prior management experience in the chemicals industry.

Prior to that time, Nicols served in various capacities at Albemarle Corporation, a public company focused on the development, manufacture and marketing of highly engineered specialty chemicals, since he joined that company in 1990.

Nicols most recently served as its Senior Vice President, Strategic Development and Catalysts, from March 2012 to June 2012.

Nicols previously served as its Vice President, Catalysts from January 2007 to February 2012, its Vice President, Fine Chemistry from June 2002 to December 2006, its Division Vice President, Global Flame Retardants business from February 1999 through June 2002 and its Asia Pacific Business Director for the Bromine Chemicals business, based in Tokyo, Japan, from 1995 to 1998.

Prior to his time with Albemarle Corporation, Nicols worked for three years in manufacturing and research and development for Hercules, Inc.

Nicols has served on the board of directors of Molecular Assemblies, Inc since June of 2020, and currently serves as the chair of the compensation committee.

In addition, Nicols has served on the board of directors of California Life Sciences Association (formerly BayBio), a non-profit organization, since January 2014.

In addition, Nicols has served on the board of directors of Solve ME/CFS Initiative, a non-profit organization, since January 2015, and currently serves as chairperson and on the executive and development committees of that organization.

Nicols received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and an M.B.A. from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding John Nicols’s move on a scale of 0 to 10.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 30.2022 ($).