Ginkgo Bioworks Appoints Former Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers as Chairman of its Board of Directors

Life science business leader to serve as a strategic advisor to Ginkgo as it scales its platform for engineering biology across industries

BOSTON, April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ginkgo Bioworks, the organism company, today announced the appointment of Dr. Marijn Dekkers, former CEO of Bayer AG and of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., as chairman of the board of directors and strategic advisor to the company. Dekkers brings more than 25 years of scientific and management experience in the life sciences and chemical industries, as well as a successful track record leading and scaling companies in the Fortune 100.

Most recently, Dekkers served as the CEO of Bayer AG, steering the company through several successful commercial milestones and repositioning it as a global life science company focused on human, animal and plant health. Prior to Bayer, Dekkers was the CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. where he first integrated the various Thermo Electron companies and then, through the acquisition of Fisher Scientific, created the global leader in the life science tools industry. Presently, Dekkers is chairman of Unilever, as well as the founder and chairman of Novalis LifeSciences, a boutique investment and advisory firm.

"Ginkgo's business is evolving — our code base and foundries have reached a new scale where the technology we have spent years building is being deployed to solve tough problems and make meaningful advances across industries," said Jason Kelly, Ginkgo Bioworks CEO and co-founder. "Marijn's deep experience in life science and leading complex businesses is unmatched and we are eager to benefit from his expertise. There is no doubt that Marijn will be an invaluable addition to our team, advising on our business and long-term strategy."

Dekkers will work from Ginkgo's headquarters in Boston's Seaport District an average of one day a week to embed himself in the business and closely collaborate with the company's executive leadership team, guiding special projects to build new companies on top of Ginkgo's platform for biological engineering.

This news follows Ginkgo's recent launch of Motif Ingredients, a food ingredients company with $90M in Series A financing, providing alternative proteins to global food companies. Leveraging its platform for biological engineering, Ginkgo founded both Motif Ingredients and Joyn Bio to bring synthetic biology to the food and agriculture industries, respectively.

"The synthetic biology industry continues to amaze me in terms of the breadth of possibilities it has to offer – and Ginkgo has already tapped into many markets that are ripe for a new wave of innovation," said Dr. Marijn Dekkers. "I see many parallels from my experience at Bayer and Thermo Fisher Scientific in terms of market opportunity and business model strategy, and look forward to helping Ginkgo navigate this next stage of growth."

About Ginkgo Bioworks:

Ginkgo Bioworks is the organism company, using the power of biology to build sustainable products in food, pharma, manufacturing, and more. Using sophisticated software and state of the art automation, Ginkgo's powerful platform for genetic engineering is making biology easier to engineer, enabling new products to be renewably manufactured with biology. For more information, visit

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