Illumina CFO steps down amid executive shakeup

Illumina CFO steps down amid executive shakeup

Dive Brief:

  • Joydeep Goswami is leaving Illumina 14 months after becoming its permanent CFO, the company said Tuesday.

  • Ankur Dhingra, who worked with Illumina CEO Jacob Thaysen at Agilent Technologies, is joining the genome sequencing company to replace Goswami. Illumina also disclosed the appointment of Jakob Wedel as chief strategy and corporate development officer.

  • Evercore ISI analysts said the prior working relationship between Dhingra and Thaysen should be a positive, noting the fact that the CEO is “making these changes is a sign of him getting comfortable with the business and pushing the organization to the next level.”

Dive Insight:

Goswami joined Illumina in 2019 to work as chief strategy and corporate development officer, the role now held by Wedel. In 2022, Sam Samad stepped down as Illumina CFO after more than five years to take up the same position at Quest Diagnostics. Goswami initially took on the CFO role on an interim basis before Illumina gave him the position on a permanent basis in February 2023.

Now, Illumina’s financial team is undergoing another shakeup with Dhingra becoming the third person to hold the CFO title in as many years. Dhingra left Summit Therapeutics last week, walking away from the biotech after almost two years as CFO.

Goswami will stay on with Illumina in an advisory role through June 30.

Dhingra spent 18 years at Agilent earlier in his career, rising to vice president of investor relations before leaving the company in 2021. His time at Agilent overlapped with the decade that Thaysen spent at the company. Thaysen joined Illumina in September.

The new CFO’s compensation package includes a $650,000 base salary, $500,000 one-time cash payment and one-time grant of equity awards in aggregate of $3.5 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Evercore analysts cited the existing relationship between the executives as a positive in a note to investors. 

“It is not overtly surprising to see such CEO changes during transition periods. Keep in mind Ankur worked with Jacob at Agilent and this working relationship should be a positive,” the analysts said.

The first step for Thaysen was to minimize disruption and get clarity on the Grail separation, the analysts added. In step two, Evercore expects the CEO to focus on turning around Illumina’s core business. Illumina reaffirmed the guidance it shared in February, when the company forecast that tighter funding and budget pressures would result in flat full-year sales. 

Wedel will support step two in his new role as chief strategy and corporate development officer, a post that makes him responsible for strategic planning, partnerships and acquisitions. The executive joined Illumina in November 2023 as CEO chief of staff.

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