T2 Biosystems CFO Shawn Lynch leaves abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After less than one year on the job
  • No successor named

(exechange) — Lexington, Massachusetts, March 03, 2017 — Shawn Lynch, finance chief of T2 Biosystems, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by T2 Biosystems, Inc. in a regulatory filing published on Friday, March 03, 2017, Shawn Lynch leaves the post as Chief Financial Officer at the biotechnology company in a surprising move after less than one year on the job, effective immediately.

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

T2 Biosystems did not name a replacement for the position of Chief Financial Officer.

“Personal reasons”

The sudden management change is explained as follows. T2 Biosystems said: “Mr. Lynch indicated that he resigned for personal reasons.”

In the announcement, the company did not detail the personal reasons causing Lynch to leave the position, leaving room for speculation. Generally speaking, “personal reasons” may include, among others, family-related reasons or health reasons.

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

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CFO leaves the position abruptly and without comprehensible reasons being given.


T2 Biosystems said: “On March 2, 2017, Shawn Lynch notified the Company of his resignation from his position as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer effective immediately.”

“Not the result of any disagreement”

“[H]is resignation was not the result of any disagreement with the management or Board of Directors of the Company,” T2 Biosystems said.

It is a phrase that may be intended to prevent false rumors. It may also fuel further speculation and raise more questions than it answers. Such a phrase should be read very carefully. The exact wording may be insightful.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of T2 Biosystems, Inc. since June 2015.

Goldman Sachs holds 13.97 percent stake

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. reported a 13.97 percent stake in T2 Biosystems, Inc. as of December 31, 2016.

CEO: John McDonough

John McDonough serves as CEO of T2 Biosystems, Inc. John McDonough has served as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors since November 2007.

On the job as CFO since 2016

Shawn Lynch joined T2 Biosystems as Chief Financial Officer on May 16, 2016.

Lynch has spent 20 years involved in strategic financial planning, business development and building strong global financial teams.

He most recently served as Vice President & Chief Financial Officer for PerkinElmer’s Environmental Health business, a provider of analytical equipment, consumables and services to the food, environmental, and pharmaceutical end markets.

Prior to PerkinElmer, Lynch was with General Electric from 2007 to 2014 in various roles of increasing responsibility with his last assignment serving as Global Controller, Measurement & Control.

Prior to General Electric, Lynch spent three years in his first stint at PerkinElmer where he last served as the Director of Finance for the Bio-Discovery business.

Lynch started his career at KPMG LLP where he last served as a Director in the firm’s M&A practice serving both public company and private equity clients.

He is a certified public accountant and received a BS in accounting from Suffolk University.

At the time of Lynch’s appointment as Chief Financial Officer at T2 Biosystems, president and CEO John McDonough had said: “Shawn brings us a wide range of expertise in financial planning, management, business development and compliance within growing, global organizations; all critical areas for us at this important time for T2 Biosystems. He is a proven strategic thinker, has experience driving organic growth and the development of financial systems and operations, and has managed teams on a global level.  This year promises to be a time of growth and expansion for T2 Biosystems, and we look forward to Shawn’s counsel as we build our T2MR® technology business throughout the U.S. and Europe.”


As a general rule, when a top manager announces to step aside with no successor available, it’s a signal that the move was unexpected and too early.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Shawn Lynch’s move.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 11.2017 ($).