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Levinson resigns from Roche board

Declares conflict of interest due to his position as CEO at Calico
roche arthur levinson

Arthur Levinson has resigned from Roche's board of directors due to conflict of interest issues related to his position as CEO of Calico.

Levinson had served as a board member since 2010 when Roche took over Genentech, the California biotech that Levinson was chairman of from 1999 to 2014.

He has served as CEO at Calico, Google's health research business, since its formation in September 2013 and has since been joined by former Genentech/Roche colleagues Hal Barron, David Botstein and Bob Cohen.

Little news has come from Calico since its launch, although that changed this week with the announcement that the company had formed a $1.5bn partnership with AbbVie – a rival pharma company to Roche – to research ways to tackle age-related diseases.

It is this development that has sparked Levinson's conflict of interest and he leaves his role at Roche immediately.

Christoph Franz, chairman of the board of directors of Roche, said: "We regret Art's decision but at the same time understand his reasons. The Board has greatly valued Art's focus on patients, his scientific expertise and business leadership during this period of growth for Roche."

Levinson's other roles include chairman of the board at Apple.

5th September 2014

From: Research, Healthcare

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