Amyris CEO John Melo leaves

  • After almost 17 years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Melo
  • Han Kieftenbeld taking over temporarily

(exechange) — Emeryville, California, June 26, 2023 — John Melo, chief executive of Amyris, leaves his position. As announced by Amyris Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, June 26, 2023, John Melo leaves his post as chief executive officer at the biotechnology company, after almost 17 years in the role, effective immediately.

It is the end of an era.

John Melo’s duties as CEO will be taken over temporarily by Han Kieftenbeld, most recently Chief Financial Officer at Amyris Inc., as Interim Chief Executive Officer.

“Critical period of transformation”

Amyris did not give an explicit reason for John Melo’s departure from the CEO post. Geoffrey Duyk, Board Chair of Amyris, stated: “We have utmost confidence in Han’s ability to lead Amyris as Interim Chief Executive Officer through this critical period of transformation.”

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


Amyris said: “John Melo has resigned from his role as President & Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, effective immediately.”

Share price decline since June 2022

The announcement follows a decline in Amyris Inc.’s share price of 53% since June 2022.

In the position of CEO since 2007

John Melo became CEO of the Company in 2007.

Melo has nearly three decades of combined experience as an entrepreneur and thought leader in the global fuels industry and technology innovation.

Melo has served as the Company’s CEO and a director since January 2007 and as the Company’s President since June 2008.

Before joining Amyris, Melo served in various senior executive positions at BP Plc (formerly British Petroleum), one of the world’s largest energy firms, from 1997 to 2006, most recently as President of U.S. Fuels Operations.

During his tenure at BP, Melo also served as Chief Information Officer of the refining and marketing segment, Senior Advisor for e-business strategy to Lord Browne, BP Chief Executive, and Director of Global Brand Development. Before joining BP, Melo was with Ernst & Young, an accounting firm, and served on the management teams of several startup companies, including Computer Aided Services, a management systems integration company, and Alldata Corporation, a provider of automobile repair software to the automotive service industry.

Melo currently serves on the boards of Renmatix, Inc., the Industrial and Environmental section of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, and the California Life Sciences Association.

Melo was formerly an appointed member to the U.S. section of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum.

No statement by John Melo

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Amyris Inc., John Melo received praise and thanks.

The announcement of his departure as CEO does not include a statement by John Melo.

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 314 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (June 26, 2022, to June 25, 2023), the average Push-out Score was 6.2, 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 John Melo’s move determined

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

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 27.2023 ($).