Connecting the dots Featured

11:47am EDT July 5, 2011
Connecting the dots

John Melo is all about finding answers to seemingly impossible questions. He thrives on questioning the rules of establishment and arriving at a solution that was unexpected and yet still highly successful toward accomplishing its goal.

Melo’s greatest challenge in leading Amyris Inc. was transforming the privately held company into one that is now traded publicly on the Nasdaq stock market. The move required strong leadership and great faith, confidence and capability.

Amyris was a company that had already transformed itself from its early days when it was solely focused on developing a therapeutic platform to fight malaria in Africa to a business that also focuses on providing renewable alternatives to a broad range of petroleum-sourced products.

Melo succeeds as CEO at Amyris because he has a keen ability to see patterns and connect the dots on very complex problems. This gives him a big-picture understanding of his industry and provides him with a wealth of faith in himself, which he is then able to convey to his co-workers and his business.

He approaches risks with confidence and executes sound business decisions, as evidenced by Amyris’s strong financial growth and successful product development.

Melo has been able to position Amyris into a variety of extremely lucrative, smaller-scale interim markets that enable the company to develop its technology and infrastructure while staying on track financially.

Melo hasn’t forgotten about the thousands of children in Africa who die every day from malaria. He still has a goal of developing the low-cost drug, artemisinin and has granted a royalty-free license to another firm for the commercialization of artemisinin-based drugs.

Internal growth at Amyris is also a priority for Melo as he regularly looks for young leaders ready to move up in the organization and provides opportunities for them to grow their skills.

How to reach: Amyris Inc., (510) 450-0761 or