Startups

Power Moves: Penn named its new president, a lawyer and college exec who will succeed Amy Gutmann

Plus, former Science Center CEO Stephen Tang is leaving OraSure Technologies with plans to reconnect with the Philly innovation community, and Erica Windisch is moving on from the company that acquired her own IOpipe in 2019.

M. Elizabeth Magill, Penn's incoming president.

(Courtesy of University of Virginia)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, gig or promotion? Email us: philly@technical.ly.


University of Pennsylvania has named a new president to replace its longest-tenured president, Amy Gutmann.

M. Elizabeth Magill, a lawyer and administrative and constitutional law academic, will succeed Gutmann in leading one of region and country’s most influential universities on July 1, the school announced Thursday. She’s slated to be voted in by the board of trustees in March. Magill currently serves as the EVP and provost of the University of Virginia, a role she’s held since 2019. Prior to her tenure at UVA, Magill served for seven years as the dean of the Stanford Law School.

“The Penn presidency is one of the most complicated and demanding in higher education, and there are very few people anywhere in the world with the skills that this job demands,” Scott Bok, chair of the Penn Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “But through a thorough search process informed by input from all university constituencies, we found exactly the right person.”

Magill’s background in law began in 1995 while clerking for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and then for US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In a statement, Magill credited Ginsburg as having had a “profound impact” on her career.

Amy Gutmann. (Photo via Flickr)

She said she is humbled to be leading the institution, and to succeed Gutmann, whom she called a “visionary and innovative leader.”

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“From its founding, Penn set its sights on making a difference, and 282 years later the Penn community continues to change the world every day through world-class research, teaching, patient care, and service,” Magill said in a statement. “What is special about Penn is that it does this with an uncommon mix of pragmatism, creativity, and humanity. I look forward to working with the faculty, students, staff, alumni, and community members to build on this inspiring legacy and shape Penn’s next great chapter. I cannot wait to get started.”

In 2021, Penn also brought on Erika James as dean of The Wharton School. Elsewhere in local higher ed, Temple University hired Jason Wingard as its own new president.

Stephen Tang moves on from OraSure

Former longtime University City Science Center leader Stephen Tang is leaving his current role, CEO of diagnostics company OraSure Technologies, at the end of March.

In his tenure at the Science Center, he had initiated its largest campus expansion in the org’s history with uCity Square. And while Tang was CEO of OraSure, the company acquired four others and launched COVID-19 products, including InteliSwab rapid kits.

Tang told Technical.ly that the over-the-counter kit awarded the company three significant government contracts, including a $205 million procurement contract from the Defense Logistics Agency. When he joined the company in 2018, it had sold about 70 million diagnostic tests for HIV, HCV and drugs of abuse in its 30-year history. Now, it has the capacity to build about 70 million tests each year.

Stephen tang

Stephen Tang. (Photo courtesy of OraSure)

Tang’s future plans include reconnecting with the business, civic, higher education, healthcare and innovation communities in Philadelphia and enjoying his time as a grandfather. He also plans on serving on the boards of for-profit and nonprofit org and is considering, with wife Jill Chernekoff, building a foundation of their own.

He walks away from this most recent role with some lessons in diagnostics from the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s proven that “none of us is safe, until all of us are safe,” he said.

“That means we need better connection and cooperation from local communities to global powers. Governments, corporations, and not-government organizations need to work better together to anticipate the next pandemic,” Tang said. “That’s the lesson learned from the past two years. We can no longer lurch between complacency and panic as a civilization without expecting global public health to suffer.”

Erica Windisch leaves the company that acquired the one she cofounded

Erica Windisch, cofounder and former CTO of IOpipe, has left the company about two years after it was acquired by West Coast-based New Relic.

Windisch and cofounder Adam Johnson started cloud-focused IOpipe in 2016, and raised $2.5 million in 2017. Over a few years, IOpipe became a team of eight who worked across a few American cities. The majority of the team joined New Relic, a cloud-based observability platform company, at its engineering headquarters in Portland after the 2019 acquisition.

But Windisch stuck around Philly then, and continues to live and work from her home on the Main Line. She started her new role as architect for developer experience at communications-focused Twilio this week. It’s a fresh start, she said, after six years with IOpipe, then New Relic.

“My decision to leave wasn’t any single factor, really. When you are a founder in an acquisition, the goals are to maximize the success of the acquiring company and to set up your (former) employees for success,” she told Technical.ly. “When I joined New Relic, my own happiness was a secondary concern. Joining Twilio gives me a fresh start where I can bring value to an organization while also caring for my own interests and well being.”

Tendo grows its C-suite

Healthcare software company Tendo welcomed Dr. Bala Hota to its leadership team this week as the company’s SVP and chief informatics officer. His experience spans 25 years in healthcare and technology, especially with building novel healthcare analytics and informatics systems to improve patient care at Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center and Cook County Health and Hospital System. Hota was also involved in the Chicago Public Health Data Hub, a tech project designed to improve public health surveillance for COVID-19, among other COVID-19 related projects in the last two years.

His hire comes on the heels of the hiring of Dan Ballough as SVP of engineering, Peter Thorson as SVP of product management, and Jeffrey K. Rohrs as chief marketing officer.

“Joining Tendo is an opportunity to make an even bigger impact by working across health systems to transform the care journey for more patients,” Hota said in a statement. “By working with a select set of early customers, Tendo is creating a space for all of us to deeply understand the complex issues impacting patient experience and collaborate to better solve those challenges. We all know the patient experience needs to be better, and Tendo is charting the path forward.”

CIC hires lab leaders

Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) welcomed two leaders to its innovation campus team, Managing Director Michelle Ottey and Director of Lab Operations Kelly Sullivan. The pair both hold Ph.D. degrees and combined decades of experience in compliance, licensing and genetics at different scientific institutions in the US. They’ll aid in the expansion of the coworking company which will soon inhabit six floors, four of which are lab space, of 3675 Market St.

“In light of our lab expansion, and all that prompted it, we sought leaders with the expertise necessary to provide the level of support we demand for our clients,” said Sarah Morin, VP and head of CIC’s North American centers. “Michelle and Kelly bring a highly elusive combination of research and leadership experience that uniquely qualifies them to meet the needs of scientists and other innovators. We are particularly excited that they are women and to have found Michelle right here in Philadelphia.”

Inside CIC Philly’s coworking space. (Courtesy photo)

SBN names a new ED

Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) announced it is appointing a new executive director, Devi Ramkissoon, who has more than 15 years of experience in international development, working with sustainable businesses for economic growth and poverty reduction.

Ramkissoon will join the org on Feb. 2, as it continues to serve the region’s local independent business community during COVID-19, with plans to aid in recovery. Ramkissoon brings her own experience as an immigrant and social entrepreneur  to the role, and has won awards from the US government and the private sector for her leadership in navigating global humanitarian crises.

“Throughout my career, I have seen firsthand the impact that sustainable businesses can have on poverty reduction, food security, and environmental preservation. SBN puts this principle into action so that local independent businesses in the region can achieve the maximum impact not only for their own profit, but also for the communities in which they operate and the well-being of the planet,” Ramkissoon said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to lead an organization that is on the cusp of true and lasting social, economic, and environmental change.”

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