Amyris CFO Raffi Asadorian leaves post abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After two years on the job
  • Kathy Valiasek taking over

( — Emeryville, California, January 05, 2017 — Raffi Asadorian, finance chief of Amyris, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Amyris, Inc. in a news release on Thursday, January 05, 2017, Raffi Mark Asadorian leaves the post as Chief Financial Officer at the industrial bioscience company in a surprising move after two years on the job, effective immediately.

No company wants a CFO to flame out in the first years.

Asadorian’s duties are taken over by Kathy Valiasek, most recently Chief Executive Officer at Lenox Group, Inc.

The fact that Asadorian’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider doesn’t have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

“To pursue a new opportunity”

Asadorian’s sudden departure is explained as follows. Amyris said: Raffi Asadorian “has resigned to pursue a new opportunity”.

The phrase “to pursue a new opportunity” is often used in corporate announcements and opens the door to speculation.

Precise information about the future plans of Asadorian was not immediately available.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Amyris, Inc. since June 2011.

Temasek holds 26.46 percent stake

Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited reported a 26.46 percent stake in Amyris, Inc. as of September 30, 2016. Temasek is a state-owned holding company that can be characterized as a National Wealth Fund owned by the Government of Singapore.

On the job as CFO since 2015

Raffi Asadorian became Amyris’s Chief Financial Officer in January 2015.

Prior to joining Amyris, Asadorian served from 2009 to 2014 as Chief Financial Officer of Unilabs S.A., a pan-European medical diagnostics company based in Geneva Switzerland and before that, he served at Barr Pharmaceuticals as Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of the PLIVA Group, a pharmaceutical company based in Zagreb, Croatia.

Prior to this, Asadorian was a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”) in its Transaction Services (mergers and acquisitions advisory) group in New York, where he worked for 16 years.

He was responsible for advising on mergers, acquisitions and divestitures for private equity clients and corporate clients in various industries, with a focus in healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

Asadorian holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Xavier University and an MBA from the University of Manchester (U.K.).

Raffi Asadorian “will continue to support specific projects, as well as serve in an ad hoc consulting capacity to ensure a smooth transition,” the company said.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Raffi Mark Asadorian’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the report 02.2017 ($).