Hannes Þór Smárason

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Hannes Smárason
Born
NationalityIcelandic
Alma materMIT Sloan School of Management
OccupationCEO of WuXi NextCODE

Hannes Smárason is an Icelandic executive and entrepreneur who served as the Executive Vice President and Senior Business and Finance Officer of deCODE genetics from in late 1900s and the early 2000s[1] and the Chairman and CEO of Icelandair and its parent company FL Group in the mid to late 2000s.[2] In October 2013 Hannes co-founded and was named CEO of NextCode Health, a startup formed to apply the massive genomics database developed by deCode Genetics to patient care.[3] Hannes negotiated the sale of NextCode to WuXi AppTech and later became CEO of WuXi NextCode.[4]

Early career[edit]

Hannes represented Iceland at a junior level in soccer.[5] He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Management and also obtained an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.[6] He worked for McKinsey & Company from 1992 to 1996 in Boston as a consultant.[7]

deCODE genetics[edit]

Kári Stefánsson asked Hannes to join him in establishing deCODE in 1996.[8] Hannes served as Senior Vice President, Chief Business Officer and Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer, and Executive Vice President and Senior Business and Finance Officer for deCODE.[9] deCODE made a series of genetic discoveries involving 27 common diseases that were published in top scientific journals.[10] In 1998 Hannes was involved in the $200 million genomics collaboration between Hoffman-La Roche and deCODE to identify genes involved in common diseases which was billed as the largest human genomics deal up to that time.[11] Hannes oversaw deCODE´s initial public offering on the NASDAQ stock market in 2000 – the first listing of an Icelandic company on an international exchange.[12] Hannes also oversaw a deal with Hoffman-La Roche to integrate genetics, services and diagnostics in 2001,[13] the acquisition of MediChem Life Sciences in 2002,[14] and a deal in the same year with Merck & Co. to identify genes involved in obesity.[15] He left deCODE in 2004.[16] The Company was subsequently sold to Amgen for $415 million with Hannes providing advice to deCODE during the sale process.[17]

Chairman of Icelandair and FL Group[edit]

Hannes became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Icelandair, in 2004.[18] Icelandair changed its name to FL Group in 2005.[19] Hannes oversaw the acquisition of the Danish airline Sterling Airways and the sale of FL Group’s 16.18% stake in the British airline EasyJet which returned a profit of $178 million USD.[20] In 2006 FL Group sold Icelandair to other Icelandic investors.[21] Under Hannes’ leadership, FL Group purchased a 5.98 percent share in AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines.[22] Hannes later urged AMR to spin off its frequent flyer program.[23] FL Group shed its stake in AMR in late 2007.[24] Under Hannes, FL Group made charitable contributions such as co-underwriting a 135 million Icelandic Krona contribution to UNICEF to support education in Guinea-Bissau.[25] The group also purchased Refresco, which is now the largest private label soft drink company in Europe, and the House of Fraser, a leading high street retailer in the UK.[26] Hannes left FL Group in 2007.[27]

Private investor[edit]

As a private investor, Hannes was part of a group that built the Smáralind shopping center near Reykjavík, Iceland.[28] Smaralind is today Iceland’s largest shopping center with over 100 shops, restaurants and services.[29]

Aftermath of financial crisis[edit]

In 2010 Hannes was named as one of eight defendants in a suit filed by the winding-up committee of Glitnir Bank.[30] The suit was dismissed in New York in December 2010,[31] refiled in 2011 and dismissed again in January 2012.[32] Hannes filed suit for reimbursement of legal expenses from the winding up committee.[33]

According to a report by the Icelandic Public Radio, (RUV), Hannes’ business dealings were the subject of investigation by the Icelandic authorities,[34] culminating with a charge for misappropriation in November 2013.[35] He was acquitted in Reykjavik District Court in February 2015.[36] The Supreme Court of Iceland confirmed the acquittal on October 2016.[37]

Co-founder, COO and CEO of WuXi NextCode[edit]

In October 2013 Hannes co-founded and became CEO of NextCode Health, a spinout of deCODE with a mission of applying deCODE’s genomic database to patient care.[38] In January 2015, WuXi AppTech acquired NextCode Health for $65 million and merged NextCode with its genome center to form a new company called WuXi NextCode. Hannes became Co-Founder and COO of the new company.[39] In 2016, WuXi NextCode introduced three products – RareCODE, FamilyCODE and HealthCODE—tailored to Chinese population variants.[40] In January 2017 WuXi NextCode, AbbVie and Genomics Medicine Ireland launched an initiative to sequence 45,000 volunteer participants from across Ireland to advance the clinical development of better treatments for a range of serious diseases.[41] WuXi NextCode appointed Hannes as CEO in February 2017.[42] WuXi NextCode closed a $240 million Series B round of financing in September 2017.[43] The company grew from 60 to just under 500 people by the end of 2017.[44] In March 2018 Hannes stepped down as CEO and transitioned to a position as Co-Founder and Senior Advisor to WuXi NextCode.[45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10K/A, deCODE Genetics Inc., Fiscal Year 2001.
  2. ^ Maureen Jenkins, “Icelandair has thrived, thanks to its North Atlantic location, the natural beauty of its home nation—and its all-Boeing fleet,” Boeing Frontiers, May 2005.
  3. ^ Allison Proffitt, "ode-platform.html NextCODE Health Launches deCODE's Platform," Bio-IT World, October 24, 2013
  4. ^ Allison Proffitt, “Hannes Smarason On The Future Of The Platform For WuXi NextCODE,” Diagnostics World, April 21, 2017.
  5. ^ Armann Thorvaldsson, “Frozen Assets: How I Lived Iceland's Boom and Bust,” John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2009.
  6. ^ FL Group Annual Report 2005.
  7. ^ Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10K/A, deCODE Genetics Inc., Fiscal Year 2001.
  8. ^ Armann Thorvaldsson, “Frozen Assets: How I Lived Iceland's Boom and Bust,” John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2009.
  9. ^ Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10K/A, deCODE Genetics Inc., Fiscal Year 2001.
  10. ^ Luke Timmerman, “Amgen Acquires DeCode Genetics, the Once-Fallen Star, for $415M,” Xconomy, December 10, 2012.
  11. ^ Hoffmann-La Roche and deCODE genetics Sign Genomics Collaboration To Identify Genes Involved in Common Diseases,” Press release issued by deCODE Genetics Inc., February 2, 1998.
  12. ^ Form S-1 Registration Statement, DeCODE Genetics Inc.
  13. ^ ode-sign-new-alliance.html Roche and deCODE sign new alliance,” The PharmaLetter, March 7, 2001.
  14. ^ Iceland's deCode to acquire MediChem Life Sciences for $83.6 million,” The PharmaLetter, January 14, 2002.
  15. ^ Matthew Herper, “Is There A Fat Gene?Forbes Magazine, October 3, 2002.
  16. ^ Hannes Smarason leaves Decode Genetics,” TrialBioInform, June 23, 2004.
  17. ^ Thorbjorn Thordarson, “[http:/ /www.visir.is/hannes-smarason-var-radgjafi-vid-solu-a-islenskri-erfdagreiningu/article/2012121229790 Hannes was advisor during the sale of deCODE genetics],” Visir, December 23, 2012.
  18. ^ Maureen Jenkins, “Icelandair has thrived, thanks to its North Atlantic location, the natural beauty of its home nation—and its all-Boeing fleet,” Boeing Frontiers, May 2005.
  19. ^ Armann Thorvaldsson, “Frozen Assets: How I Lived Iceland's Boom and Bust,” John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2009.
  20. ^ All eyes are on Iceland,” Business Outlook UK, 2006.
  21. ^ ing-sold-by-fl-group-to-other-icelandic-investors-210014/ Icelandair being sold by FL Group to other Icelandic investors,” Flightglobal, October 16, 2006.
  22. ^ Iceland's FL Group buys stake in AMR Corp,” Washington Post, December 26, 2006.
  23. ^ AMR Investor Urges Frequent-Flyer Spinoff,” CNBC, September 27, 2007.
  24. ^ FL Group Sheds Stake in AMR,” New York Times, December 3, 2007.
  25. ^ Baugur, FL Group and Fons give 135 million to UNICEF,” Morgunblaðið,January 12, 2005.
  26. ^ Harry Wallop, “Icelandair opts to float after bid talks fail,” The Telegraph, October 14, 2006.
  27. ^ FL Group reports net loss of ISK 67 billion in 2007,” FL Group press release, February 13, 2008.
  28. ^ Arni Sæberg “Smaralind,” Morgunblaðið, October 15, 2000.
  29. ^ Smaralind Shopping Mall,” Iceland Travel Guide.
  30. ^ Rowena Mason, “Former Baugur boss Jon Asgeir Johannesson accused of $2bn fraud,” The Telegraph, May 13, 2010.
  31. ^ Catharine Fulton, “Hannes Smárason Seeking 60 Million ISK From Failed Bank,” The Reykjavík Grapevine, March 6, 2013.
  32. ^ PwC Sues Glitnir Bank Winding-Up Committee,” Iceland Review, April 13, 2012.
  33. ^ Catharine Fulton, “Hannes Smárason Seeking 60 Million ISK From Failed Bank,” The Reykjavík Grapevine, March 6, 2013.
  34. ^ Owes 80 billion to Landbanki,” RUV, March 10, 2010.
  35. ^ "Hannes Smarason charged with embezzlement," "ruv.is", Nov 9, 2013.
  36. ^ Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir, "Former FL Group CEO Acquitted in District Court," Iceland Review, February 18, 2015.
  37. ^ Björn Þorfinnsson, “Supreme court dismisses case against Hannes”, DV, October 13, 2016.
  38. ^ Ben Fidler, “DeCode Spinout, NextCode Health, Launches With $15M From Arch, Polaris,” Xconomy, October 23, 2013.
  39. ^ WuXi PharmaTech Buys NextCode Health for $65M,” GenomeWeb, January 9, 2015.
  40. ^ Allison Proffitt, “latform-wuxi-nextcode.aspx Hannes Smarason On The Future Of The Platform For WuXi NextCODE,” Diagnostics World, April 21, 2017.
  41. ^ Sequencing Partnerships,” BioIT World, January 12, 2017.
  42. ^ Allison Proffitt, “Hannes Smarason On The Future Of The Platform For WuXi NextCODE,” Diagnostics World, April 21, 2017.
  43. ^ Ben Fidler, “ows/ NextCODE Reloads With $240M, Eyes IPO, As Genomic Data Demand Grows,” Xconomy, September 7, 2017.
  44. ^ Angus Liu, “In conversation with: WuXi NextCODE CEO Hannes Smárason,” Fierce Biotech, January 22, 2018.
  45. ^ WuXi NextCODE Announces Executive Leadership Transition,” PR Newswire, March 12, 2018.