October 15, 2018

Kevin O'Sullivan to resign as CEO of MBI

Photo | File
Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan will step down at the end of the year as president and CEO of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives after two decades at the Worcester agency.

O'Sullivan, who lives in Worcester, said he won't be leaving the city and intends to remain active.

"Retirement is not in my vocabulary," the 64-year-old said.

News of O'Sullivan's retirement comes as MBI and officials from the city and development agencies celebrate the pending arrival of WuXi Biologics, a Chinese biomanufacturing company.

The company has set its eyes on a new building next to drugmaker AbbVie and the former Bryan Building, which part of the former Worcester State Hospital.

Officials gathered in October to celebrate a $15-million state grant to demolish the building and prepare the site for development.

Negotiations with WuXi are continuing, O'Sullivan said.

Taking O'Sullivan's position leading MBI will be Jon Weaver, the agency's chief operating officer and a three-year member of the leadership team.Weaver has previously worked for MassDevelopment and the Worcester Business Development Corp.

O'Sullivan said he will be available through the start of next year to help with the transition.

"It's time, and change is good," said O'Sullivan, a Connecticut native who moved to Worcester after attending Springfield College. "I'm pleased with the progress we've made the and team we've built."

The godfather of Worcester biomanufacturing

O'Sullivan is something of a godfather for the biomanufacturing surge in Worcester, having run the MBI incubator for 33 years and playing an active role in Worcester redevelopment efforts through the city's influential Economic Development Coordinating Council.

His involvement helped the city land facilities for biotech firms like New York-based Mustang Bio at the UMass Medicine Science Park.

MBI's incubator operates in 27 private laboratories and 76 percent of its incubees went on to succeed in the market. The organization has helped to create 576 jobs and contribute more than $760 million to the local economy.

Aside from helping the biotech industry flourish in Central Massachusetts, O'Sullivan is involved in the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science, Indian Lake Watershed, and Walk for the Homeless.

O'Sullivan spoke about strides the city has made during his several decades in the industry in Worcester, including development of Gateway Park with Worcester Polytechnic Institute, to go along with UMass Medicine Science Park and the biomanufacturing campus at the former Worcester State Hospital.

"To see what's happened from then to today blows my mind," O'Sullivan said of the industry growth.


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