• Board Of Directors
  • Genus Executive Leadership Team
Board Of Directors
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Bob Lawson Non-executive chairman

Board appointment: November 2010

Committee Chairmanship: Nomination, Remuneration

Skills and Experience

Bob has significant experience of leading international businesses, including through operational and culture changes, and a deep understanding of listed companies and corporate governance.

Career

Bob’s executive career spanned several UK and continental groups, including ten years as Chief Executive of Electrocomponents plc and three years as Managing Director of Vitec Group plc. He is currently Non-Executive Chairman of Eurocell plc and was formerly Chairman of the Federation of Groundwork Trusts and Non-Executive Chairman of Barratt Developments plc.

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Karim Bitar Chief Executive

Board appointment: September 2011

Committee Membership: Nomination

Skills and Experience

Karim has extensive experience of leading international, science-based organisations. His strategic review of Genus in 2012 resulted in a new vision, strategy, structure and core values. He has a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Career

Prior to joining Genus, Karim worked for more than 15 years for Eli Lilly and Company, where he was President of Lilly Europe, Canada and Australia. An ex-McKinsey and Company consultant, he also held management roles at Johnson and Johnson, and the Dow Chemical Company. On 1 July 2017, Karim was appointed a Non-Executive Director on the board of Spectris plc. He is also a member of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business Advisory Board.

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Stephen Wilson GROUP FINANCE DIRECTOR

Board appointment: January 2013

Skills and Experience

Before joining Genus, Stephen worked in France and the US and gained wide-ranging experience of mergers and acquisitions, financing, strategy and investor relations. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and holds a degree in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.


Career

Stephen was previously Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Misys plc. Prior to Misys, he spent 25 years at IBM, in roles encompassing finance, business development and change programmes. He was a Non-Executive Director of Xchanging plc, where he chaired the Audit Committee until its acquisition by CSC in May 2016.

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Lysanne Gray NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Board appointment: April 2016

Committee Chairmanship: Audit

Committee Membership: Remuneration, Nomination

Skills and Experience

Lysanne has significant experience of risk management, audit, business operations, acquisitions and disposals, and corporate governance, gained within the food sector. She is a Chartered Accountant.

Career

Lysanne is Financial Controller at Unilever plc and Unilever NV. Prior to this she was Chief Auditor, working closely with Unilever’s Audit Committee, and before that Chief Financial Officer of Unilever’s global food service business. She has also held a number of other senior operational and financial positions within Unilever.

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Lykele van der Broek NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Board appointment: July 2014

Committee Membership: Remuneration, Nomination, Audit

Skills and Experience

Lykele has vast experience of growing companies and working in agricultural businesses throughout the world, including in emerging markets.

Career

Lykele retired as a Member of the Board of Management of Bayer CropScience, a division of Bayer AG, in 2014, being responsible for the commercialisation of innovative agricultural products and services globally. Prior to this, he held senior international roles including the Head of Bayer CropScience’s BioScience division and President of the Bayer HealthCare Animal Health division.

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Lesley Knox Senior Independent Director

Board appointment: June 2018

Committee Chairmanship: Remuneration

Committee Membership: Nomination, Audit

Skills and Experience

Lesley has broad international, strategic and financial services experience, both through her executive career and as a non-executive director of major organisations. Companies she has advised during her career include manufacturers and distributors of food products, including poultry and poultry breeding companies.

Career

Lesley was a founder director of British Linen Advisors from 1999 to 2002, Governor of British Linen Bank Group (1997 to 1999) and held various senior roles at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, where she was ultimately a Group Director. Earlier in her career, she qualified as a solicitor with Slaughter & May and also worked for Shearman & Sterling. Lesley has held numerous non-executive roles and is currently Chair of Grosvenor Group and a Non-Executive Director of Thomas Cook and Legal & General, where she also chairs the Remuneration Committee.

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Professor Ian Charles Non-Executive Director

Board appointment: July 2018

Committee Membership: Remuneration, Nomination, Audit

Skills and Experience

Ian has more than 30 years’ experience in academic and commercial research institutions, giving him deep scientific expertise. His current research focus is in the area of infectious diseases, the microbiome, and its impact on health and well-being. As an entrepreneurial scientist, Ian is also the co-founder of two biotechnology companies.

Career

Ian is Director of the Quadram Institute, Norwich, and was previously Director of the ithree institute, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. He is co-founder and a Board Director of Auspherix, where he actively contributes to the company’s scientific direction, and was co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Arrow Therapeutics. Earlier in his career he was a founder member of The Wolfson Institute for BioMedical Research at University College London, and held various roles at Glaxo Wellcome and Sheffield, Cambridge and Leicester Universities.

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Dan Hartley GROUP GENERAL COUNSEL AND COMPANY SECRETARY

Board appointment: June 2014

Skills and Experience

Dan has significant experience in multijurisdictional patent litigation, mergers and acquisitions, patent licensing and managing product life cycles in complex areas. He holds degrees in science and law.

Career

Dan joined Genus from Shire plc, where he was Senior Vice President and International Counsel. Dan joined Shire in 2002, after a number of years in private practice, and worked in increasingly senior and global roles in the UK and the US.

Genus Executive Leadership Team
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Karim Bitar CHIEF EXECUTIVE

GELT appointment: September 2011

Skills and Experience

Karim has extensive experience of leading international, science-based organisations. His strategic review of Genus in 2012 resulted in a new vision, strategy, structure and core values. He has a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Career

Prior to joining Genus, Karim worked for more than 15 years for Eli Lilly and Company, where he was President of Lilly Europe, Canada and Australia. An ex-McKinsey and Company consultant, he also held management roles at Johnson and Johnson, and the Dow Chemical Company. On 1 July 2017, Karim was appointed a Non-Executive Director on the board of Spectris plc. He is also a member of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business Advisory Board.

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Stephen Wilson GROUP FINANCE DIRECTOR

GELT appointment: January 2013

Skills and Experience

Before joining Genus, Stephen worked in France and the US and gained wide-ranging experience of mergers and acquisitions, financing, strategy and investor relations. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and holds a degree in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.


Career

Stephen was previously Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Misys plc. Prior to Misys, he spent 25 years at IBM, in roles encompassing finance, business development and change programmes. He was a Non-Executive Director of Xchanging plc, where he chaired the Audit Committee until its acquisition by CSC in May 2016.

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Dan Hartley GROUP GENERAL COUNSEL AND COMPANY SECRETARY

GELT appointment: June 2014

Skills and Experience

Dan has significant experience in multijurisdictional patent litigation, mergers and acquisitions, patent licensing and managing product life cycles in complex areas. He holds degrees in science and law.

Career

Dan joined Genus from Shire plc, where he was Senior Vice President and International Counsel. Dan joined Shire in 2002, after a number of years in private practice, and worked in increasingly senior and global roles in the UK and the US.

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Dr Bill Christianson CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, GENUS PIC

GELT appointment: July 2012

Skills and Experience

Bill has spent his career at the intersection of agriculture and biotechnology, giving him a unique blend of deep industry knowledge and extensive commercial and global experience. He holds doctorates (DVM and PhD) in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota.

Career

Bill joined in 1993 as Manager of Veterinary R&D, based in the US. He subsequently worked in operational roles spanning Europe, South America and the US, before becoming General Manager of PIC North America in 2007. He led the combined ABS and PIC business across the Americas from 2010, before becoming COO of Genus PIC in 2012.

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Dr Nate Zwald CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, GENUS ABS DAIRY

GELT appointment: January 2017

Skills and Experience

Nate brings deep dairy genetics expertise, a strong commercial focus and a passion for people development. He grew up on the Bomaz dairy farm in the US, which has produced high-ranking industry and ABS sires, before studying at the University of Wisconsin. Here, he obtained a degree in Dairy Science, an MBA and a PhD (focused on the genetic evaluation of health traits in dairy cattle).

Career

Nate joined Genus in January 2017 after 15 years at Alta Genetics. This included being Alta’s Advantage Program Manager, in which he redesigned progeny testing in partner herds. For his final ten years with the company, Nate led Alta’s successful US business as General Manager. Nate has a strong dairy industry network and sits on the Board of the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding and is Vice President of the National Association of Animal Breeders.

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Jerry Thompson CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, GENUS ABS BEEF

GELT appointment: July 2012

Skills and Experience

Jerry is a natural entrepreneur and has brought his deep industry knowledge, commercial skills and international experience to develop the business in countries as diverse as the UK, Russia and China. He has helped Genus establish and grow its business in new markets.

Career

Jerry has worked for PIC and subsequently Genus for more than 20 years. He joined as a graduate in the UK, subsequently working in Siberia and Romania before leading PIC in Central and Eastern Europe. He then led PIC Europe before becoming Regional Director for PIC and ABS in Russia & Asia Pacific and subsequently COO for Genus Asia. He was appointed to his current role in July 2016.

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Dr Jonathan Lightner CHIEF R&D AND SCIENTIFIC OFFICER

GELT appointment: October 2013

Skills and Experience

Jonathan is a world-renowned quantitative molecular geneticist, with expertise spanning inter-related fields such as molecular biology, analytical chemistry and ‘omic’ technologies. He also has extensive regulatory and commercial experience. He holds a Masters in Systems Engineering from Iowa State, an MBA from the University of Iowa and a Doctorate in Plant Physiology from the Institute of Biological Chemistry at Washington State University.

Career

Jonathan joined Genus in 2013 from Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc, a DuPont business, where he led a global team focused on genetic solutions to enhance agricultural productivity. His other leadership roles with DuPont Pioneer included Senior Research Director for Trait Characterization within Hi-Bred International. Jonathan’s previous experience included three years with Exelixis, as Director of Biochemical Genomics.

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Angelle Rosata GROUP HR DIRECTOR

GELT appointment: July 2017

Skills and Experience

Angelle combines commercial acumen with her broad expertise in resourcing, talent and succession, leadership development, and health and safety. Her strategic planning skills and pragmatism help to align the Group’s people agenda with its business needs. Angelle holds a Masters in Human Resource Development from Vanderbilt University.

Career

Angelle joined Genus PIC in September 2013 as HR Director, following more than 20 years in the healthcare sector. She developed and delivered PIC’s people strategy, before being appointed HR Director for Genus ABS. Angelle was appointed Group HR Director and a member of GELT on 1 July 2017.