Illumina CEO Francis deSouza leaves

  • After almost seven years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for deSouza
  • Charles Dadswell taking over temporarily
  • Search for a successor
  • deSouza said 84 words

(exechange) — San Diego, California, June 11, 2023 — Francis deSouza, chief executive of Illumina, leaves his position. As announced by Illumina Inc. in a news release on Sunday, June 11, 2023, Francis A. deSouza leaves his post as chief executive officer at the gene-sequencing machine maker, after almost seven years in the role, effective immediately.

Illumina will undertake a search for a successor.

Francis deSouza’s duties as CEO will be taken over temporarily by Charles Dadswell, most recently Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Illumina Inc., as interim Chief Executive Officer.

“Drive advancements in healthcare, growth and shareholder value”

Illumina did not give an explicit reason for Francis deSouza’s departure from the CEO post. Illumina stated: “The Board of Directors is conducting a search for a new CEO looking at internal and external candidates. The Board is focused on finding a world-class business leader who can drive advancements in healthcare, growth and shareholder value.”

Precise information regarding Francis deSouza’s future plans was not immediately available.


Illumina said: “Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN), a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, today announced that its Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of Francis deSouza as Illumina’s Chief Executive Officer and as a Director, effective Sunday, June 11.”

Share price decline since June 2021

The announcement follows a decline in Illumina Inc.’s share price of 51% since June 2021.

In the position of CEO since 2016

Francis deSouza became CEO of the Company in 2016.

Francis deSouza will stay on in an advisory capacity until July 31, 2023.

Career Highlights

  • Chief Executive Officer of Illumina since July 2016, and President from December 2013 through July 2016
  • President of Products and Services at Symantec Corporation from 2011 to 2013, and Senior Vice President of Enterprise Security Group from 2009 to 2011 (2009 – 2013)
  • Founder and CEO of IMlogic, Inc. from 2001 until it was acquired by Symantec (2001 – 2006)
  • Product Unit Manager of Real-time Collaboration Group at Microsoft Corporation (1998 – 2001)
  • Co-founder and CEO of Flash Communications from 1997 until it was acquired by Microsoft (1997 – 1998)

Other Public Board Service

  • The Walt Disney Company (since 2018)
  • Citrix Systems, Inc. (2014 – 2016)


  • S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology


  • Glassdoor Top 100 CEOs (2018 and 2019)
  • #10 on Fortune’s 2018 Businessperson of the Year
  • Silicon Valley 40 Under 40.
84 words by Francis deSouza

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Illumina Inc., Francis deSouza received praise and thanks.

In announcing his departure, Francis deSouza said 84 words.

“We are still at the very beginning”

Francis deSouza stated: “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve Illumina. When I joined this company in 2013, we talked about making the company more clinical, more digital, and more global. On behalf of patients, clinicians and physicians everywhere, I’d like to thank the thousands of Illumina employees who made it happen. We have made great progress together, but I believe we are still at the very beginning of the impact Illumina will have on human health by unlocking the power of the genome.”

40% of CEOs are forced out or fired

When CEO departures are announced, exechange determines the Push-out Score on a scale of 0 to 10 to assess how likely it is that the chief executive was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position, with 0 being most likely a voluntary move and 10 being most likely a forced exit. Anything over a 5 indicates that there are valid reasons to believe an executive may have been pushed out.

Of the 310 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (June 11, 2022, to June 10, 2023), the average Push-out Score was 6.1, according to exechange data. References to conduct issues, disagreements and irregularities lead to the highest Push-out Scores. When performance issues, time with family or pursuit of other opportunities were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.

Around 40% of the CEO departure events from the past 12 months received Push-out Scores of 8 or higher.

In other words, in the past 12 months, two in five departing CEOs were forced out or fired.

Push-out Score for Francis deSouza’s move determined

The Push-out Score regarding Francis deSouza’s move is explained point by point in the exechange report.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 25.2023 ($).