Origin Agritech Limited (NASDAQ:SEED) (“Origin” or the “Company”), a technology-focused supplier of crop seeds and agricultural products in China, today announced that Dr. Gengchen Han, Chairman of the Board and acting CEO, has gained Board of Directors’ unanimous support to become the new CEO and President effective immediately.
In September 2011, Dr. Han assumed the position of acting CEO when Mr. Liang Yuan, the previous President and CEO tendered his resignation for personal reason. Dr. Han was the Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer of the company from its inception in 1997 until January 1, 2009. During his tenure as a managing executive, he spearheaded the growth of hybrid seed business and the expansion into GMO research. In 2004, Origin was awarded by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu's list as the 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the Asia Pacific Region and the 7th fastest growing company in mainland China according to that list. In 2007, Origin was named by Forbes Asia magazine as one of Asia's 200 "Best Under a Billion" companies. In 2008, Origin announced World's First Genetically Modified Phytase Corn.
Dr. Han has more than 20 years of experience in research and development of hybrid seed products, particularly corn seed. From 1982 until 1984, Dr. Han was a lecturer at the Henan Agriculture University. From 1984 to 1987, Dr. Han received his Ph.D. degree in Plant Breeding and Cytogenics from Iowa State University. From 1989 until 1990 he worked for the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, in Mexico. He worked for Pioneer Hi-bred International, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dupont, from 1990 to 1996; his positions there included Regional Technical Coordinator for Asia/Pacific and Regional Supervisor for China Business.
“I am honored to return to lead our talented team as Origin continues its expansion from the traditional hybrid seed business into the high-entry-barrier biotech GMO,” said Dr. Gengchen Han. “We are committed to increasing long-term value for shareholders through execution of our core strategic priorities: the creation of superior hybrid and genetically modified crop seed products, the continuous education and product and service support to end-user farmers, and creating growth in new regional markets. I remain fully confident in Origin’s future growth.”