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New CFO Headlines a Series of Executive Suite Changes at Geron

|Includes: Geron Corporation (GERN)

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) announced yesterday that Graham Cooper was appointed CFO, replacing David Greenwood (since 1995). The company also announced that Chief Scientific Officer Jane Lebkowski had stepped down and that it had appointed Stephen Rosenfield to the previously-vacant general counsel position. The changes come just 3 months after the appointment of new CEO John Scarlett on 29-Sep-11.

In addition, GERN saw 4 departures from its board in 2011, including long-time Chairman Alexander Barkas (since 1993). While there can be a significant amount of risk associated with a high level of executive suite and board turnover, these changes may be welcomed by investors. The stock has fallen nearly 70% in the last 12 months.

However, the new leadership faces a tough task in turning GERN around. As of the 10-Q filed 3-Nov-11, the company did not have any product candidates in late-stage trials or on the market. Its $2.2 million in 9M11 revenue represented just 3.2% of operating expenses.