Shareholders in the DNA-sequencing firm Illumina on Thursday voted to replace the company’s chairman with a candidate put forward by the activist investor Carl Icahn, even as Illumina held off an effort to oust other directors, including CEO Francis deSouza.
Andrew Teno, a portfolio manager at Icahn Capital, will replace John Thompson, the former CEO of software firm Symantec and until now Illumina’s chairman. A new chair will be selected over the coming weeks.
The vote represents a rebuke to the company’s current strategy, and to its decision to buy the cancer diagnostics firm Grail, an Illumina spinout, for $8 billion without approval from U.S. and European regulators. It is possible that European regulators will make Illumina divest the firm, most likely at a much lower valuation.