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October 24, 2019

Ayers resigns from top IDEXX leadership role

Jonathan Ayers, chairman, president and CEO of Westbrook-based IDEXX Laboratories Inc. (Nasdaq: IDXX), will reduce his leadership role because of a spinal cord injury he suffered in a June 27 bicycling accident.

Jonathan Ayers
File Photo
Jonathan Ayers

Jonathan (Jay) Mazelsky, who has been serving as interim president and CEO, has been appointed to those positions on a permanent basis, the veterinary diagnostics company said in a news release Thursday. Mazelsky has also been elected to the IDEXX board.

Ayers will leave his position as chairman on Nov. 1, and the company’s lead director, Lawrence Kingsley, will serve as its independent chairman. Ayers will continue as a member of the board and serve as an IDEXX senior advisor, according to the release.

In July, he released a statement saying the accident had left him without mobility and sensation in his legs, torso and fingers, and limited mobility and sensation in his arms and wrists. At the time, he was undergoing physical rehabilitation and estimated it could take up to five months.

The accident occurred as Ayers, 63, was riding with his regular early-morning cycling group. He experienced no head trauma or brain injury, but has not provided many other details.

In Thursday’s release, Ayers said, “While the nature of my spinal cord injury and my continuing need to focus on an extended rehabilitation process preclude me from returning to IDEXX as CEO, my passion for the company and its purpose has not diminished.

“I am extremely proud of the significant long-term value we have created during my 17-year tenure with IDEXX, and it has been a true privilege to work with our outstanding management team, board and employees. I am delighted with Jay’s appointment as president and CEO and have complete confidence in his ability to lead IDEXX forward.”

Before assuming his interim role, Mazelsky, 59, was executive vice president at IDEXX, responsible for its North American companion animal business. He joined the company in 2012, and previously served as a senior vice president and general manager at the health care subsidiary of Royal Philips Electronics. He holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Rochester and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

On Thursday morning, IDEXX stock was trading at roughly $271, little changed since the opening bell and about the same level it sold for on July 2, the day after Ayers’ accident was announced.

IDEXX employs more than 8,000 people worldwide and serves customers in more than 175 countries. Its shares have a market value of around $23 billion.

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