STAT+: Francis deSouza’s tenure at Illumina is a lesson in how not to handle CEO succession

The sudden resignation of Francis deSouza as the CEO of Illumina Sunday represents anything but an orderly transition — and it leaves a black mark on both his six-year tenure and his luckless quest to acquire the cancer diagnostics firm Grail.

But when the story of deSouza’s time as CEO is taught in management classes, it may be that the discussion should not just be about the decisions he made at the end. It should also be about the beginning, when deSouza took over from Illumina’s previous CEO, Jay Flatley, who had built the company into a genetic sequencing powerhouse.

At its core, this is as much a story of succession planning gone wrong, and of corporate culture being wrenched too quickly from one state to another, as it is one of badly placed strategic decisions.

Continue to STAT+ to read the full story…

Click here to view original post