Verenium Names New CEO as it Consolidates in San Diego
Verenium (NASDAQ: VRNM), the biofuels developer that sold its cellulosic biofuels business to BP last summer, says CEO Carlos Riva plans to retire at the end of March, as the Cambridge, MA-based company consolidates its operations in San Diego.
In a statement today, Verenium says Executive VP and CFO James Levine will succeed Riva as CEO and board member on March 31. Chief Accounting Officer Jeffrey Black was named as Verenium’s Chief Financial Officer. He will continue to report to Levine, along with Janet Roemer, who will continue as Verenium’s president and COO.
In December, Verenium disclosed plans to close its headquarters and consolidate the company’s operations and headquarters in San Diego as part of a cost-savings move. The move to San Diego, which was initially scheduled to be completed by the end of March, is now expected to be done by the end of June, according to Verenium spokeswoman Kelly Lindenboom. The company said it expects to spend as much as $10 million to build out a new San Diego facility over the next two years, although it was exploring opportunities to stretch its capital outlays over an even longer period of time.
Verenium sold its cellulosic biofuels business to BP for $98.3 million last July in a deal that transferred Verenium’s San Diego-based R&D sites and a demonstration-scale facility and pilot plant in Jennings, LA, to BP. The consolidation leaves Verenium looking very much like San Diego-based Diversa, which was focused on developing commercial enzymes before it became Verenium through its 2006 merger with Cambridge, MA-based Celunol.