Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN and New York, NY (September 18, 2018) - Calyxt, Inc. and Cellectis S.A. announced the appointment of James A. Blome, former President and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP (North America), as Chief Executive Officer of Calyxt, effective October 1, 2018. Jim Blome will work closely with Calyxt’s Board of Directors to foster the development of the Company’s consumer-focused products, including the upcoming commercial launch of Calyxt’s first product, high-oleic soybean oil.
Blome is seen as a high-impact, global leader with over 25 years of leadership experience in the agriculture industry, building teams, and strategies with consumer-focused cultures to better meet consumer needs and maximize market share growth.
“We are extremely excited to have Jim Blome take the reins at Calyxt, as this time represents a critical inflection point for the Company, given that we expect our first healthy food product for consumers will soon hit the market,” says Dr. André Choulika, Chairman of Calyxt’s Board of Directors. “Having Jim join Calyxt is a huge win for the entire Calyxt team as he is an experienced global CEO and seasoned commercial executive with extensive expertise in consumer-focused product development. He brings a proven track record of global operational excellence. We look forward to ushering in an exciting new chapter for Calyxt under Jim’s leadership.”
“In addition, I would like to very warmly thank Dr. Yves Ribeill for the fantastic job that he has done in a very short period of time as interim CEO at Calyxt. Yves has taken significant steps to position Calyxt on track for its first commercial launch. I continue to be impressed by the way that he has been immediately adopted by the team and motivated all to make Calyxt a great success. Yves and Jim will work closely together on an efficient transition. Yves will also remain a member of the Board of Directors of the Company,” adds Dr. André Choulika.
“I am honored to take on the role as Calyxt’s next CEO as the Company has the potential to become the leader when it comes to healthier food choices for consumers,” adds Blome. “I look forward to working closely with the Board, management team and talented and committed employees to leverage all of Calyxt’s truly unique capabilities and deliver nutritionally rich, cost-effective food products. I have made it my mission to always execute with purpose, putting the consumer first in everything that we do.”
Blome grew up on a family corn and soybean farm in Hubbard, Iowa and a graduate of Iowa State University. Prior to joining Calyxt, Blome was the President and CEO for Bayer CropScience LP (North America). He held executive positions at Valent (Sumitomo Chemical) and Agriliance LLC before joining Bayer.
Blome serves as the Chairman of CropLife America, Chairman of US Farming and Ranching Foundation, the Independent, Non-Executive Chairman of Concentric Ag Technologies, Inc. Blome is the 2013 recipient of the Henry A. Wallace Award from Iowa State University for outstanding leadership and service to agriculture.
Kincannon & Reed, a leading executive search firm focused on the food, agribusiness, and biosciences sectors, assisted Calyxt in the recruitment of Blome.