Safeguard Scientifics, the Wayne, Pa.-based, publicly traded holding company with stakes in growth-stage life sciences and tech company, has promoted senior VP and CFO Stephen Zarrilli to the post of CE0. Zarrilli will take the reins on November 1. He succeeds Peter Boni.
Safeguard Scientifics, Inc., a holding company that builds value in growth-stage life sciences and technology companies, today announced that the Safeguard board of directors has named Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Stephen T. Zarrilli, 51, to succeed Mr. Boni as President and CEO, effective November 1, 2012. Peter J. Boni, 67, will retire at the Company’s annual meeting of shareholders on May 23, 2013 after more than seven years as the primary architect of Safeguard’s repositioning as the preferred catalyst for growth capital. Mr. Zarrilli will also join the Board of Directors of the Company effective November 1, 2012.
“The satisfaction I’ve gained from growing Safeguard and its roster of high-potential partner companies is exceeded only by my immense pleasure from working with the board, Steve and the rest of the Safeguard team”
“This transition comes at a time when Safeguard has never been stronger, strategically or financially,” said Andrew E. Lietz, Chairman of the Safeguard board of directors. “Peter took the Safeguard reins in August 2005, revitalized and refocused the Company post-Internet bubble, and delivered above-average returns even during the current period of prolonged and unprecedented economic uncertainty. Steve Zarrilli is a strong and capable executive who worked closely with Peter to improve Safeguard’s financial strength and flexibility, and to set the stage for continued growth and platform expansion.”
Mr. Lietz said that from November 2012 until May 2013, Mr. Boni will provide transitional support to Mr. Zarrilli as CEO emeritus. For the balance of 2013, Mr. Boni will serve as a senior advisor to Safeguard.
“Steve Zarrilli and I have worked shoulder to shoulder for six years to position Safeguard as a company builder, focused on growth-stage life sciences and technology businesses,” Mr. Boni said. “Steve is the right executive at the right time to build on that momentum and take Safeguard even higher, to the benefit of shareholders and partner companies.”
“I am humbled by the board’s confidence and support in this new assignment,” Mr. Zarrilli said. “I am energized by the opportunity to continue to work with the Safeguard team to build additional value.”
Over the course of a 30 year career, Mr. Zarrilli has served as CEO and CFO of both publicly traded and privately held technology companies. He also has substantial board governance experience having served on four other publicly traded enterprises over the last 15 years. Mr. Zarrilli joined Safeguard as its CFO in 2006.
Mr. Boni led Safeguard as the Company exited non-strategic legacy businesses and deployed approximately $315 million into two-dozen high growth situations. Three of Safeguard’s partner companies completed initial public offerings and large-cap strategic buyers including Oracle, Eli Lilly, Shire, McKesson and GE Healthcare acquired others. These exits generated approximately $643 million. At the same time, Safeguard improved its debt to equity ratio and built its net cash position to record levels.
“The satisfaction I’ve gained from growing Safeguard and its roster of high-potential partner companies is exceeded only by my immense pleasure from working with the board, Steve and the rest of the Safeguard team,” Mr. Boni said. “While I may be retiring from Safeguard, I have more in the tank and look forward to identifying new ways to contribute. I’m also looking forward to spending more time with my growing family and young grandchildren.”
About Safeguard Scientifics
Founded in 1953 and based in Wayne, PA, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE) provides growth capital for entrepreneurial and innovative life sciences and technology companies. Safeguard targets life sciences companies in Molecular and Point-of-Care Diagnostics, Medical Devices, Regenerative Medicine, Specialty Pharmaceuticals and selected healthcare services, and technology companies in Internet / New Media, Financial Services IT, Healthcare IT and selected business services with capital requirements of up to $25 million. Safeguard participates in expansion financings, corporate spin-outs, management buyouts, recapitalizations, industry consolidations and early-stage financings. For more information, please visit our website at www.safeguard.com or our blog (blog.safeguard.com).
Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Our forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. The risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially include, among others, managing rapidly changing technologies, limited access to capital, competition, the ability to attract and retain qualified employees, the ability to execute our strategy, the uncertainty of the future performance of our companies, acquisitions and dispositions of companies, the inability to manage growth, compliance with government regulations and legal liabilities, additional financing requirements, the effect of economic conditions in the business sectors in which our companies operate, and other uncertainties described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Many of these factors are beyond our ability to predict or control. As a result of these and other factors, our past financial performance should not be relied on as an indication of future performance. The Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements or other information contained in this news release.