Enzo Biochem Hires New CEO; Investors Push For More Change
Hamid Erfanian, age 52, has become Chief Executive Officer Enzo Biochem (New York City) effective November 8. Erfanian was most recently Chief Commercial Officer of Euroimmun, an IVD manufacturer owned by PerkinElmer (Waltham, MA). Former CEO Elazar Rabbani, PhD, age 78, will remain Chairman and will also serve as Enzo’s new Chief Scientific Officer.
Erfanian is set receive a base salary of $600,000 with eligibility for a bonus of between 30% and 100% of his base salary. Furthermore, Erfanian will receive 260,000 shares of Enzo stock plus options to purchase 700,000 more shares. Finally, he will get $60,000 for relocation expenses.
Restless Investors Seek More Change
Meanwhile, Bradley Radoff, a private investor who owns 7.5% of Enzo’s outstanding shares, says the CEO change does not go far enough. In an open letter to Enzo’s board, he said the shift was merely a way to prolong the 45-year tenure of Rabbani, who helped found Enzo in 1976. Radoff
is urging the board “to take swift action to prevent Dr. Rabbani from perpetually controlling the company, as if it is his own private fiefdom.”
Rabbani did not receive a majority of shareholder votes cast for his re-election at Enzo’s last annual meeting in January 2021. However, Enzo’s board refused to accept Rabbani’s resignation and he remains Chairman.
Other Enzo investors, including Harbert Discovery Fund (10.7% stake), Roumell Asset Management (6% stake), and James Wolf (5.4% stake), have also been pressuring the company to make changes (see LE, January 2021).