BAR HARBOR, Maine — Rick Woychik, president and CEO of The Jackson Laboratory for the past eight years, has decided to step down from his position, according to lab officials.
The lab made the announcement Tuesday afternoon in a press release.
Woychik has told the lab’s board of trustees he is willing to stay on as president and CEO until a new top executive is ready to take the reins, officials indicated.
“When I came to the laboratory seven years ago, my goals were to stabilize the laboratory’s finances and to explore new areas of scientific research,” Woychik said in a statement. “We have achieved these goals, creating a firm foundation upon which the organization can build. It is time for new leadership to take the laboratory to the next level of excellence.”
In the years since Woychik became the lab’s top executive, its annual operating budget has increased from $103.8 million to $170 million, and the number of its employees has increased from 1,162 to 1,318, according to lab officials. Since 2002, Jackson Lab has invested more than $80 million in capital improvements by con-structing more than 118,000 square feet of new research support space and renovating an additional 70,000 square feet of existing laboratory facilities.
Brian Wruble, chairman of Jackson Lab’s board of trustees, commended Woychik for his leadership.
“Rick has accomplished a great deal during his tenure as president and CEO, and we are grateful for his many contributions,” Wruble said in a prepared statement. “We will seek a pre-eminent scientist of international stature to lead the lab into the future. I am grateful that Rick has agreed to stay on during the search to ensure a smooth and deliberate transition.”
Before becoming president and CEO of Jackson Lab, Woychik held positions at Lynx Therapeutics, the Parke-Davis Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Case Western Reserve University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, according to information on the lab’s Web site. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science de-grees from University of Wisconsin and a doctorate from Case Western Reserve University. He is the sixth director to lead the laboratory since it was founded by Clarence Cook Little in 1929.
Jackson Lab is known internationally for its use of mice to research human disease and medical conditions. Each year, it breeds millions of laboratory mice that are used in similar studies all over the world. It is one of the largest employers in eastern Maine and is the largest in Hancock County.