ROSEVILLE, MINN. — The board of directors of Calyxt, Inc. has named Yves Ribeill, PhD, executive chair of the board. Dr. Ribeill assumes the post as Calyxt begins a search for a new chief executive officer following the departure of James A. Blome, who is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

A plant-based technology company, Calyxt has retained an executive search firm to lead the search for Mr. Blome’s replacement. Dr. Ribeill has been tasked with helping guide the CEO search on behalf of the board and support the transition once the incoming CEO is selected.

Dr. Ribeill has been a member of the Calyxt board since July 2018 and served as Calyxt’s interim CEO from August 2018 until October 2018. Since January 2018, he has been CEO of Ribogenics, Inc., which is a private biotechnology company working on RNA biology.

“On behalf of the board, we want to thank Jim for guiding Calyxt to a streamlined business model that can capitalize on delivering disruptive, plant-based innovations,” Dr. Ribeill said. “He led Calyxt to a strong 2020, redirected Calyxt’s innovation engine to new and high-value opportunities and built a team with the right talent mix to drive Calyxt’s go-to-market strategies. Jim has positioned Calyxt for future growth and success, and we wish Jim all the best in his future pursuits. This action represents a continuing step to focus Calyxt on significant innovation opportunities beyond commodity-based agriculture.”  

Prior to joining Calyxt in October 2018, Mr. Blome was president and CEO for Bayer CropScience LP (North America). He also held executive positions at Valent (Sumitomo Chemical) and Agriliance LLC before joining Bayer.

“I am proud of what Calyxt has been able to accomplish during my tenure as CEO, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to lead the talented Calyxt team to this important level,” Mr. Blome said. “I believe Calyxt is poised to capitalize on the unlimited possibilities that can be created with its plant-based innovations and have confidence that the Calyxt team will continue to leverage and expand Calyxt’s position as a global leader in plant gene editing.”

Founded in 2010, Calyxt uses its proprietary Talen gene editing technology to work with partners via technology licensing, product development, and seed sale arrangements to revolutionize the way the world uses plants to solve problems.