Myriad Genetics Recognizes Three Distinguished Directors for 55 Years of Combined Board Service


At the December meeting of its Board of Directors, Myriad Genetics recognized the meaningful contributions of three retiring board members — Walter Gilbert, John Henderson, and Larry Best – whose combined tenure represents more than 55 years of service to the company.

Walter Gilbert, Ph.D, a molecular biology pioneer and co-founder of Myriad Genetics served on the Board for 28 years and was the company’s first Chairman of the Board. An early proponent of sequencing the human genome, Dr. Gilbert joined Myriad as a founding scientist in 1992 and served in numerous leadership roles which positively impacted the strategic direction and growth of the company.  Leading up to his work at Myriad Genetics, Dr. Gilbert won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980 for his contributions to the development of DNA sequencing technology. He also was a founder of Biogen, Inc. and its Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer from 1981 to 1985, as well as the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University.

John Henderson, M.D. served as a 16-year member of the Myriad Genetics Board of Directors and was elected Chairman of the Board from April 2005 to March 2020. He previously worked in leadership roles for more than 25 years in the Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Group. He also held senior global positions with Pfizer in research and development in Europe and Japan, and was vice president, Medical for Europe, U.S. and International Pharmaceuticals group. Dr. Henderson played an instrumental role in broadening Myriad’s leadership in precision medicine and commercializing new therapeutics for individuals affected by a range of hereditary diseases.

Larry Best, joined the Myriad Genetics Board of Directors in 2009, serving as a Director for 11 years and applying his deep industry expertise to advance Myriad’s position in molecular diagnostics.  He joined Boston Scientific Corporation in 1992 and served for 15 years as the Executive Vice President-Finance & Administration and Chief Financial Officer. Previously, Mr. Best was a partner at Ernst & Young, where he specialized in serving multinational companies in the high technology and life sciences fields. He served a two-year fellowship at the SEC from 1979 to 1981 and a one-year term as a White House-appointed Presidential Exchange Executive in Washington, D.C.

Noting their deep dedication and valued guidance over the years, S. Louise Phanstiel, current Chair of the Board said, “Wally, John and Larry each brought a rare blend of personal passion, professional expertise and tireless energy to the Board.  On behalf of all our Board members, the executive team and everyone at Myriad Genetics, we want to acknowledge their many contributions and extend a heartfelt thank you for all they have done to improve the lives of patients, support healthcare providers in the quest to better diagnose, treat and prevent disease, and advance the enduring mission of the company we love.”

Paul Diaz, president and CEO of Myriad Genetics added, “All of us at Myriad Genetics owe a debt of gratitude to these highly committed Board members who have been steadfast in their service and have given of themselves to keep our company strong and position us for growth. I want to thank Wally, John and Larry for supporting me as I joined Myriad and for showing what true leadership looks like.”

As part of its ongoing commitment to strong governance Myriad’s Board of Directors continues to evolve, leveraging a range of backgrounds and perspectives. Louise Phanstiel, a board member since September 2009, was elected as Chair in March 2020.  According to Catalyst, as of 2018, women accounted for only about 5% of board chairs of public companies. Over the last eight months, six new directors have been added to the Board, including Rashmi Kumar, Colleen F. Reitan, Lee N. Newcomer M.D., Daniel M. Skovronsky M.D., Ph.D., Daniel K. Spiegelman, and Paul J. Diaz. Two-thirds of the Board is now comprised of new members, further broadening diversity and bringing experience in areas such as managed care, new product development, and information technology.