Industry Leaders Join 23andMe Board of Directors
Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice and Peter Taylor Join 23andMe’s Board as the Company Sets to Accelerate Personalized Healthcare Based on Human Genetics.
Sunnyvale, Calif. – June 21, 2021 – 23andMe Holding Co. (Nasdaq: ME) (“23andMe”), a leading consumer genetics and research company, announced today that, following the June 16 closing of the previously announced business combination between 23andMe, Inc. and VG Acquisition Corp. (“VGAC”), Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, the president and dean of Morehouse School of Medicine, became a member of its board of directors, joining Peter Taylor, president of the ECMC Foundation, along with Evan Lovell, Chief Investment Officer of the Virgin Group, and the five board members of 23andMe, Inc.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice and Peter Taylor to our board of directors,” said Anne Wojcicki, CEO, and Co-Founder of 23andMe. “Valerie and Peter are both strong, impactful leaders who bring diverse perspectives. They will be invaluable as we scale the company to truly transform the continuum of healthcare.”
Dr. Montgomery Rice serves as both president and dean of Morehouse School of Medicine. She is the first woman in the school's history to assume that leadership role. An infertility specialist and researcher, she has held faculty positions and leadership roles at various health centers, including academic health centers, throughout her career. Most notably, she was the founding director of the Center for Women's Health Research at Meharry Medical College, one of the nation’s first research centers devoted to studying diseases that disproportionately impact women of color. Advancing equity in healthcare, access to care, and improving diversity among physicians and scientists’ ranks have always been among Dr. Montgomery Rice's top priorities.
“23andMe is at the forefront of applying human genetics to improve and accelerate the lengthy drug discovery and development process,” said Morehouse School of Medicine president and dean Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD. “The company has tremendous potential to truly deliver more personalized, efficient, and novel therapeutics. I look forward to leveraging my expertise across both academic and medical fields, as well as advancing the company’s goal of diversifying its database to ensure all populations can benefit from future genetic insights.”
In his role as the president of the non-profit ECMC Foundation, new board member Peter Taylor has led more than $195 million of grants and investments in initiatives affecting educational outcomes, especially among underserved populations, in the areas of college success and career readiness. Mr. Taylor's experience in higher education and finance includes time as executive vice president and chief financial officer for the University of California system. Most of Mr. Taylor's professional career was in investment banking, including sixteen years in municipal finance banking for Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital. During that time, he worked as the managing director for the West Coast Fixed Income Group.
“23andMe is uniquely positioned to empower and engage with individuals around their health and well-being,” said Mr. Taylor, president of ECMC Foundation. “With the power of genetics, I believe the company has the promise to redefine personalized medicine to help individuals ultimately live healthier lives. I’m excited to work closely with Anne and the executive team to assist the company on its mission to help people benefit from the human genome.”
Dr. Montgomery Rice will serve as Chair of the Compensation Committee and Mr. Taylor will serve as the Chair of the Audit Committee.
23andMe commenced trading on The Nasdaq Global Select Market on June 17, under the ticker symbol “ME” for its Class A common stock and “MEUSW” for its public warrants.
23andMe, headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, is a leading consumer genetics and research company. Founded in 2006, the company’s mission is to help people access, understand, and benefit from the human genome. 23andMe has pioneered direct access to genetic information as the only company with multiple FDA authorizations for genetic health risk reports. The company has created the world’s largest crowdsourced platform for genetic research, with 80 percent of its customers electing to participate. The 23andMe research platform has generated more than 180 publications on the genetic underpinnings of a wide range of diseases, conditions, and traits. The platform also powers the 23andMe Therapeutics group, currently pursuing drug discovery programs rooted in human genetics across a spectrum of disease areas, including oncology, respiratory, and cardiovascular diseases, in addition to other therapeutic areas. More information is available at www.23andMe.com