Alan Shaw founded Codexis Inc. in 2002, and as president and CEO, he has built the company from an unproven idea into a global company of 300 people serving world leaders in energy and pharmaceuticals, including Shell, Merck and Pfizer.
His accomplishments today started as a youth. When he was 16, he went to work full-time in the chemical industry. He put himself through college, attending night school three days a week for seven years and ultimately went on to earn his Ph.D.
Shaw built a successful management career in some of the U.K.’s largest chemical companies and continued in some of those firms’ entrepreneurial start-ups. He became intrigued by the innovation of Silicon Valley and moved his young family to California in 2001 and joined Maxygen to run the spinoff that became Codexis.
He knew that in order for Codexis to be successful, he would need to make sure that the company also had new capital, so he built a strong base of venture capital investors. Despite his planning, as the company grew, he constantly needed new money, and to meet those needs, it required that Shaw and his team get creative and persevere. They attracted six rounds of private financing from both traditional and nontraditional sources, and today, the company is in registration for its initial public offering his early vision now being realized.
Codexis is now the leading development partner for the world’s largest distributor of biofuels, Royal Dutch Shell, and is looking toward the future to new markets in clean air, water and renewable chemicals. Under Shaw’s leadership, the company has combined scientific strength with an opportunistic mindset and has grown into a clean technology company with a sustainable business model.
How to reach: Codexis Inc., (650) 421-8100 or www.codexis.com