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Icahn shows support for new Illumina CEO

Activist investor Carl Icahn showed his support of Illumina's new CEO on Thursday, two days after the DNA sequencing company named its new leader.

Why it matters: Icahn's blessing, posted on X midmorning, is a relief for the company after it spent a year battling the activist over its strategy, in a bruising and expensive fight that ultimately led to the resignation of its CEO.

Details: Icahn, who continues to own a small stake in the company as of last quarter, said new Illumina CEO Jacob Thaysen "has my full support."

Zoom out: deSouza's departure in June opened the door for the company to seek to divest its ownership of cancer detection company Grail, a company at the center of Icahn's dispute with Illumina's management team and board.

  • Icahn's campaign focused on forcing Illumina to divest its Grail ownership.

The big picture: Investors will be watching to see how Thaysen approaches the Grail business, and whether he can rebuild the market value the company lost since the acquisition.

  • Thaysen joins after nearly a decade at Agilent Technologies, where he ran its largest analytical-lab unit, and doubled the division's operating profit.
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