Maxygen shakes up its executive ranks after spinout

Just days after transferring $10 million in cash and all its work on protein pharmaceuticals to a new joint venture with Astellas Pharma, Maxygen (MAXY) has announced a restructuring that will see its CEO of 11 years leave the company alongside the developer's CFO. Maxygen board member James Sulat, who had been CEO of Memory Pharmaceuticals, will fill their shoes beginning on Thursday.

After the tech spinout, Maxygen was left with $185 million in cash, a cancer development program, a significant minority stake in Codexis and a possible $30 million milestone from Bayer. In the shakeup, Maxygen Executive Chairman Isaac Stein revised the consulting deal that was established between Waverly Associated, which he runs, and Maxygen. Waverly will now get up to $50,000 a month for its services, but Stein won't be directly compensated for his board work. He did, however, get options to buy up to 690,000 of common and special shares as well as "contingent performance units."

"Jim (Sulat) brings the right skill set to lead Maxygen as we move from a focus on drug research and development to a focus on managing Maxygen's assets to maximize the return to our stockholders over the next few years," said Stein. CEO Russell Howard, the CEO since June, 1998, and CFO Lawrence Briscoe will officially depart tomorrow.

- here's the Maxygen release
- read the story from the San Francisco Business Times