Fri 31 July 13:01:15 NZST

RBC / Announcements

Rubicon informs of Senior Leadership changes at ArborGen

8:30am, 14 Mar 2012 | GENERAL

14 March, 2012 – Rubicon informed the market today, that ArborGen (Rubicon’s 33% owned forestry biotechnology operation) has this week announced significant new leadership changes at its senior executive level, designed to enhance the rapid commercialisation of the company –

 Andrew Baum has been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer. Andrew brings a strong relevant career to ArborGen in building and managing technology driven businesses, with a comprehensive knowledge of both biotechnology and clean-technology.

Andrew began his career at Calgene Inc. in 1981, an agricultural biotechnology firm, advancing over a ten year period to Senior Vice President of Operations, where he was responsible for ensuring the on-schedule launch of the world's first genetically engineered cotton and vegetable oil products. Andrew was appointed President of Calgene’s Oils Division in November 1992, responsible for all aspects of the company's Oils operations. Calgene was purchased by Monsanto in 1997, at which time Andrew moved to Monsanto as Director of Business Development in its Sustainable Development sector. He later joined Sembiosys Genetics as CEO, which he led from its evolution from a university-based research initiative into a fully integrated publically traded biotechnology company, focusing on developing pharmaceutical proteins and nutritional oils using proprietary plant production technology. Most recently he has been working with private biotechnology and ‘clean tech’ companies in raising equity capital. Andrew has previously served as a member of the Board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (Bio) and as Secretary and Vice Chairman of Food and Agriculture at Bio;

 John Pait has been appointed to the position of VP Marketing, Sales and Product Development. John brings to ArborGen an impressive career in forest sector management. He has a long history in the forestry sector, having previously worked as Director of Productivity in Georgia-Pacific and Plum Creek Timber, and more recently as Senior Vice President for US markets for CellFor Corporation (a varietal-focused forestry technology and commercial seedling sales company).

With his expertise in forestry business and product development, sales and marketing, and timberland management, John brings to ArborGen critical skills needed to help drive the adoption of ArborGen’s higher value MCP and varietal products, particularly in the US market;

 Warren Banner, who for the past three and a half years has been in charge of developing ArborGen’s varietal manufacturing capability, has been promoted to VP Manufacturing, assuming responsibility for delivering ArborGen’s traditional nursery crop in the US as well as the scale-up of all ArborGen’s new higher value softwood and hardwood products. Warren came to ArborGen with 26 years of management experience in the horticulture industry, having held positions as General Manager, Production Manager, and Director of Operations. Warren will work in close collaboration with John to ensure manufacturing capability matches customer demand for ArborGen’s higher value products – i.e. those products that can make a step-change difference to ArborGen’s earnings performance in the next two-to-three years; and

 A new CFO appointment is also planned to be made, and this will be advised to the market when it occurs. This person will have the commercial and financial skills necessary to manage a large scale-up technology business, as well as the capital raising experience needed to take ArborGen public in an IPO offering in future.
Ed Shonsey, the ArborGen Chairman, said - “Andrew brings the right mix of technical knowhow, business acumen and biotechnology experience to help take the company to a new level for its shareholders and other stakeholders. John Pait has extensive experience in the marketing and development of high value forestry products, and will work with our current sales team to make sure these products offer maximum value to our customers. Their addition to the current management team will help ensure ArborGen realises its potential as the world’s leading provider of forestry genetics.”

Rubicon’s Chief Executive Officer, Luke Moriarty, said – “These are important ArborGen management changes, which reflect the careful and deliberate selection of strategic and operational executives who will be able to ‘hit the ground running’ and take the company to the next level of growth.”