Cyanotech Announces Strategic Shift to Marketing-Oriented Business Model, Initiates Search for New President and CEO to Lead Effort

Founder Gerald R. Cysewski, Ph.D. to Become Chief Scientific Officer, Focusing on Microalgae Product Development
November 15, 2007

Cyanotech Announces Strategic Shift to Marketing-Oriented Business Model, Initiates Search for New President and CEO to Lead Effort

Cyanotech Corporation announced that its Board of Directors has adopted a strategic shift in the company’s business model from its traditional focus on the processing and distribution of microalgae products to a marketing-oriented approach seeking to derive more value from its leading products, natural Astaxanthin and spirulina.

To facilitate this transition, the company’s founder, Gerald R. Cysewski, Ph.D. has agreed to stand down from his positions as chairman, president and chief executive officer to become chief scientific officer, focusing on developing new microalgae products for Cyanotech.

The Board of Directors has retained the executive search firm of Heidrick & Struggles to manage the search for the new chief executive officer.

“Gerry will help in the company’s effort to recruit a person with extensive marketing experience,” said Gregg Robertson, lead independent director of Cyanotech.  “The company is the world’s largest producer of natural Astaxanthin for human consumption, a product with growing demand worldwide, and a major producer of high-quality spirulina, and we intend to capitalize on this leadership for the benefit of our shareholders.”

“I have been engaged in growing and managing microalgae production for Cyanotech since 1983 when we first set up operations in Kona,” said Dr. Cysewski.  “I look forward to getting back into the lab full-time to pursue my goal of enhancing yields and discovering and commercializing new microalgae products for our portfolio that will provide important health benefits to our customers.”

Dr. Cysewski is credited with commercializing the large-scale production of microalgae.  He began investigating the process four decades ago while an assistant professor at UC Santa Barbara in the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering.  Then he began small-scale operations while working with the Battelle Institute in Pasco, Washington, before choosing Kona, Hawaii as the perfect environment to begin large-scale cultivation and processing of microalgae.

“Although the precise plan for moving Cyanotech to the marketing-driven model awaits the input of Dr. Cysewski’s successor, we are intent on moving in this new direction,” noted Mr. Robertson.

Cyanotech Corporation, a world leader in microalgae technology, produces BioAstin® Natural Astaxanthin and Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica. NatuRose® Natural Astaxanthin is a natural pigment source that also promotes animal health and nutrition, primarily in aquaculture. Phycobiliproteins are fluorescent pigments used in medical diagnostic testing and research. Cyanotech produces these products from microalgae grown at its 90-acre facility in Hawaii using patented and proprietary technology and distributes them to nutritional supplement, nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, and animal feed makers and marketers in more than 40 countries worldwide. Cyanotech was the first microalgae company in the world to obtain ISO 9001:2000.