Steve Tang on new gig: 'You don't always have the luxury of ideal timing' - Technical.ly Philly

Business

Jan. 8, 2018 9:34 am

Steve Tang on new gig: ‘You don’t always have the luxury of ideal timing’

A decade later, Tang is leaving the Science Center. Here's the challenge he placed on the institution he leaves behind.

Steve Tang (center) will join Bethlehem, Pa.-based OraSure as its CEO in February.

(Photo by Jeff Fusco for the Tomorrow Tour)

After a decade at the helm of the University City Science CenterStephen Tang is leaving his post as CEO and president to join OraSure Technologies, a Bethlehem, Pa.-based health science company.

He’s been on the company’s board since 2011, but his connection to OraSure is a longer story: As a grad student at Lehigh University in the early 1980s, he worked out of the institution’s Whitaker Lab, right next door to where part of OraSure’s original technology was developed.

“We’ve been in close proximity for a long time,” Tang, 57, said. His selection as chief exec is a full-circle moment: In 2004, Tang was actually in the running for the CEO role, but was bested by Douglas Michels, whose upcoming retirement made way for Tang’s naming.

“It’s interesting interplay between failure and redemption,” Tang said.

In this installment of our ongoing Exit Interview series, we ask Tang about third acts, missed ribbon-cuttings and the need to be less “self-critical as a community.”

###

Technical.ly Philly: Why does this make sense now, when you’re coming up on a decade as CEO?

Stephen Tang: I don’t know that there was consideration about the decade about the cutoff. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here, so there was nothing that compelled me. No “sell-by date.” It’s more about the succession plan OraSure was looking at. Also, I’m 57 years old and if there’s a third act in my professional life it has to be now.

TP: It’s the start of a big year for the Science Center. How do you feel about everything that’s going to be happening without you?

ST: I have enormous confidence that the managing team in place here will deliver. The reason for naming Curt Hess as interim CEO is that he’s been here for over 15 years and has great institutional knowledge. It would be great to be here when the new [3675 Market] building opens, but you don’t always get the luxury of great timing.

Advertisement

TP: What’s on your to-do list at OraSure?

ST: I’ll have to spend some time getting to know the team as boss. The most pressing issue is hiring the next CFO to replace Ronald Spair, who is also looking to retire sometime this year in a way that allows adequate transition time. That’s the big focus. There are also some aspects of updating our strategy.

TP: Will you remain connected to the tech scene here in Philly?

ST: My wife and I will remain in Greater Philly, and we’ll remain a vibrant part of the community. We’ll be vitally involved in the passions that we have, and that doesn’t stop because I leave the Science Center.

TP: What’s a challenge you’d put on the Science Center going forward?

ST: Over the past couple of years we’ve spoken about the pillars of not just innovation but access and inclusion. Because 3675 will be the physical manifestation of our connection to the neighborhoods, my hope is that we can be an inspiring place for entrepreneurs to participate and find their way into well paying jobs and participate. If we do that, we’ll begin to chip away at the disparity. I believe we’re ideally situated to make that happen.

TP: Any final message to the community?

ST: Greatness is there for the taking if we can get out of our own way. We’re much better off than where we were ten years ago but we’re incredibly self-critical as a community, and I’d love us to see the world being more about possibilities and abundance.

-30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

Advertisement

Science Center CEO Steve Tang stepping down to run Bethlehem company

Exit Interview: Juliana Reyes left Technical.ly but not the tech scene

Elise Wei is leaving Philly for New Zealand [Exit Interview]

SPONSORED

Philly

Vistar Media’s tech stack is not for the faint-of-heart

Chesterbrook

Deacom

Inside Sales Representative

Apply Now
Center City, Philadelphia

IntegriChain

Senior Business Analyst

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

IntegriChain

Senior Data Engineer

Apply Now

PSL Prez Brock Weatherup just sold his company to Petco and moved to California

Ooooh, Tinder’s founder poached some Philly talent: Technical.ly Playbook

Corey Leigh Latislaw is leaving Philly to work for Pinterest

SPONSORED

Philly

MakeOffices’ new location is ripe for startup collaborations

Chesterbrook, PA

Deacom

Enterprise Software Sales Representative

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Azavea

Software Engineer, Geospatial Insights Team

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Clarivate Analytics

Senior UI Developer

Apply Now

Sign-up for regular updates from Technical.ly

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!