Recombinetics, the St. Paul-based gene-editing pioneer focused on improving livestock health and preventing the spread of disease, has picked its new leader. On Tuesday, Mark Platt was announced as the company’s new CEO. Platt will be Recombinetics’ third CEO in two years, replacing the outgoing Tammy Lee.
Lee, whose tenure as president and CEO began in August 2017, when she succeeded Ian Friendly as the top executive, is taking a leave of absence from the company.
The specifics behind Lee’s departure were not disclosed, but Recombinetics board chairman Peter Hajas expressed excitement over the addition of Platt.
“Mark brings an excitement for the possibilities of our innovative work,” says Hajas, “and is the right person to guide our corporate culture and nurture relationships with key stakeholders to achieve goals of improving human lives, feeding the world’s growing population, and reducing animal suffering.”
Platt joins Recombinetics as it readies the launch of several new products. Within the company’s biomedical division, Surrogen, it is marketing two new types of gene-edited pigs. The first, the YorkaPig-HF-RBM 20 Domestic Pig, which it co-developed with Mayo Clinic, is a living, breathing lab animal designed for studies tackling an incurable cause of heart failure known as dilated cardiomyopathy. The company’s other pig, the OssaPig-NF-NF1 Miniature Pig, is gene-edited to be used in studies on neurofibromatosis, or NF1, a type of genetic disorder that leads to skeletal abnormalities, scoliosis, blindness, and other human complications. Separately, under its agriculture division Acceligen, the company is launching Naturally Cool, a breeding solution designed specifically for cattle breeds living in tropical and subtropical zones.
Platt’s most recent prior role was as executive sales leader at the Midwest sales office for Trane, Inc. He’s credited as helping double that organization’s market share in less than two years. Platt was also the senior vice president of business services for Gundersen Health System from November 2013 to April 2017. Prior to that, Platt was president and CEO of Multistack LLC based in Sparta, Wisconsin. Recombinetics noted that from 2002 to 2012, Platt led Multistack through its highest growth period, including a more than 1,000 percent increase in total revenue over his decade-long tenure.
Amid Platt’s entrance, the company also saluted Lee for her time as its leader, including her help with spearheading the company’s $34 million Series A funding round last year. That capital was slated to go toward expanding certain workforces and facilities.
“The success of this capital raise reflects confidence in the vision of Recombinetics’ founders, and in the ability of the board of directors and management team to execute against that vision,” said Recombinetics founder Dr. Scott Fahrenkrug in a statement at the time of the funding round’s closure.
Platt is eager to step into Lee’s shoes and carry out that vision.
“Recombinetics is at the forefront of innovative research and development to address issues of global significance,” Platt says. “I’m joining at this transformational time to ensure the organization and its strategic investors thrive, with all aligned to positively impact people, places and animals at home and abroad.”