54gene, earlier this week announced that the founder and CEO, Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong would be stepping down as their CEO, naming the company’s general counsel, Teresia L. Bost, as the interim CEO.
Dr. Ene-Obong, a multi-master’s degree and Ph.D. holder, stepped down from executive duties at the 3-year-old health tech company but chose to retain his position on the company’s board of directors, as well as assume the role of the company’s special advisor.
This is coming after the vice president and co-founder of 54gene, Ogochukwu Osifo, announced his exit from the company via a post on Linkedin.
54gene the health tech company focused on harnessing precision medicine in Africa, within its 3 years of existence, has been able to raise over 45 million dollars in funding.
There is no set reason for his step down at the moment. There are speculations that it’s due to the company’s current financial woes. 80 employees were let go in August, and more layoffs are expected.
However, in the earlier stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company was among the health tech companies that benefitted financially from partnerships with governments and their agencies in carrying out covid test screenings.
Perhaps, the downward trend in the numbers of tests carried out almost globally and the gradual move to a post covid phase has pushed the company to downsize its employee size.
In a statement by 54gene’s board chairperson and Managing Partner at Adjuvant Capital, Jenny Yip, thanked Dr. Abasi for his service to the company during his tenure as the CEO.
Per tech next, Mr. Abasi states his interests still align with the company’s as he says in a statement:
“I have always believed that the scale of genetic diversity in Africa and other highly diverse populations will materially impact our understanding of biology and lead to better medicines and interventions for the global population, and I am proud of what has been achieved at 54gene. I will continue to support the company and the scientific ecosystem, particularly the African genomics ecosystem”.
The 54 gene team consists of the interim CEO, Teresia Bost, a well-rounded corporate attorney, with over 20 years of legal practice experience, knowledgeable on the requirements for supporting a successful global corporation, and the company’s COO, Delali Attipoe, seems fitting enough for the groundbreaking company.