By Jo McIntyre
Dec. 11, 2006 — Larry Bock has resigned as executive chairman of the board of directors of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Nanosys Inc., a nanotechnology platform and product development company working in a variety of industries, including developing military-related applications using nanomaterials for use in biosensors, solar cells and memory devices.
The company’s board and managers learned about Bock’s resignation on Thursday, but managed to keep a lid on the news until they had contacted their investors.
Bock “decided not to return to Nanosys for personal reasons,” said Nanosys CFO Peter Garcia, who spoke in a phone interview Sunday night from his home in California. He said Bock began a leave of absence in August in order to spend more time with his family. Bock declined to comment, directing questions toward the company.
“He was a key founder for Nanosys and helped establish the foundation for the company,” Garcia said, adding that the company has a good management team in place that will work diligently to continue to develop the business. “He has been here five years and has worked 24/7 for Nanosys.”
Garcia does not place much weight on what the resignation might say, if anything, about nanotech as an investment theme. “It was strictly personal and regarding his personal life, not Nanosys or nanotechnology.”
Founded in 2001, Nanosys now has about 70 full-time employees. Investments have been made by 65 investors, all of whom had to be called before the news became public, Garcia said. The investors Garcia spoke to were understanding and very supportive of the company, he added.
Bock has served as executive chairman of the Nanosys Inc. board of directors since October 2003. He acted as Nanosys CEO, president, and a director from July 2001 to October 2003. He was Nanosys’ chief financial officer from July 2001 to September 2001.
Bock is also on the board of directors of Hillsboro, Ore.-based FEI Inc., which makes ion and scanning electron beam microscopes for failure analysis, fab production process control and other applications. He is also a special advisor to Lux Capital, which is an investor in Nanosys, and has been a general partner at CW Group, a venture capital management firm focused on seed-stage start-ups in the life and physical sciences.
With more than 20 years of experience in the life sciences and nanotechnology industries, Bock has co-founded more than a dozen companies and served as CEO of six. He is a member of the advisory board of the NanoBusiness Alliance.