Codexis fell 19% today after several analyst downgrades and the announcement that long-standing CEO Alan Shaw was stepping down. Shaw, who has been with Codexis since its founding and been CEO for a decade, is leaving to “pursue other interests,” according to the release, although market watchers suspect pressure over delays in the company’s cellulosic biofuel joint venture with Shell and poor stock performance played a role.
Shaw’s departure closely follows CFO Bob Lawson’s decision to step down once the company’s annual report has been filed.
In 2010, Shaw led Codexis through what would be the first in a string of biochemical/biofuel initial public offerings (IPOs), although the stock has fallen 70% from its $13/share offer price.
Struggles at Amyris, news that energy crop maker Ceres had slashed its IPO price (then delayed the offering altogether), and now a management exodus at Codexis threaten to cast a pall over biofuel/biochemical prospects in 2013.
Codexis senior v.p. and CBO Joseph Sarret will speak later this week at Jefferies Global Clean Technology Conference, and will hopefully be able to address reported project delays.