OBN Chief Executive Jon Rees to Step Down After Transformational Decade

OBN - the membership organisation supporting the UK's emerging life sciences companies - announces today that CEO Jon Rees is to step down in August after 10 years in the role. Jon will continue to support OBN in a Senior Consultant, Business Development capacity.

The Board has appointed Ross Sommerville MBA as Interim CEO whilst a permanent replacement for Jon is sought. Ross brings strong leadership experience gained through global medtech organisations and for the past 12 years he was with ResMed Inc, where he built and led its UK and European partner network businesses.

Under Jon Rees' leadership, OBN has grown from a University project into a diversified, financially-sustainable association which now delivers many best-in-class activities to its members, including the largest life sciences investment conference in Europe, BioTrinity, arguably the most cost-effective purchasing consortium for life sciences companies in the UK, and a wide range of networking events. More recently, OBN has expanded its activities to establish itself as a powerful voice for emerging R&D companies.

Under the leadership of Jon Rees OBN has:

Provided support to member companies trying to raise money, including catalysing multiple interactions with investors - 40% (£1.2bn) of the total raised by the life science sector was raised by OBN members over the last 5 years
Highlighted the Biomedical Catalyst funding streams to its members who have between them been awarded £40m
Championed the UK life sciences sector, including helping secure the extension of the Biomedical Catalyst fund and the review of Entrepreneurs' Relief
Successfully supported bids worth £40m to provide additional laboratory facilities
Since May 2013, grown its membership by 80% to 380 organisations across the UK.

Jon Rees said: "I have thoroughly relished my time as CEO of OBN and working to deliver on the evolving mission of supporting emerging life sciences companies but having been with OBN for 10 years, I feel it is an appropriate time to step down to explore other opportunities to use my knowledge and experience. I will remain available to OBN, the Board and to the incoming interim CEO in 2015 and look forward to seeing the organisation continue to grow and develop."

David Laskow-Pooley, Chairman of OBN, said: "Jon's contribution to OBN has been enormous. I wish to thank him for the energy and commitment which he has brought to the organisation and for what he has delivered for our member companies. The Board's appointment of an interim CEO prior to Jon's departure will ensure a smooth transition plan is in place. We are confident OBN will continue to succeed and deliver for emerging life sciences companies in the UK."

Bill Castell, Chairman of the Wellcome Trust, said: "Jon has made an outstanding contribution to supporting the UK's innovative life sciences sector, he has excelled at bringing companies together with the investors which fund the translation of our great science base, while transforming OBN's profile in his decade of unwavering service to the sector."

Rod Cook, a member of the OBN Board, should be contacted by executives interested in the role of CEO at OBN.

Photos available upon request

About OBN

OBN is the Membership organisation supporting and bringing together the UK's emerging life sciences companies, corporate partners and investors. Our 380-plus Member companies are located across the Golden Triangle and beyond to Nottingham, Manchester and Scotland and benefit from our networking, partnering, purchasing, advising and advocacy activities.  OBN is best known for its delivery of BioTrinity (10th Anniversary Edition: April 25-27, 2016), Europe's leading life sciences investment and biopartnering conference - also see http://www.biotrinity.com.

Upcoming networking events include the BioTuesday debate on whether pharma should finance an antimicrobial drug development fund - London (June 30), the OBN Summer Drinks at the Williams Conference Centre (July 9), the Senior Executive Dinner - Cambridge (July 16), the OBN Senior Executive Dinner- London (Sept 8) and the OBN Annual Awards Dinner - London (Oct 1).  Further information about OBN's tailored networking and partnering events, purchasing consortium, advice, consultancy services and advocacy activities is available on OBN's website http://www.obn.org.uk

David Laskow-Pooley, Chairman, OBN
Tel: +44 (0)7900-905438    
Email: [email protected]

Rod Cook, Non-Executive Director, OBN
Tel: +44 (0)7711-141288
Email: [email protected]

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Sylvie Berrebi
Tel:  +44 (0)20-7638-9571
Mob:  +44(0)7795-197271
Email: [email protected]