After initiating discussions with the Board of Directors, Erik Gatenholm has decided to step down as President and CEO of BICO Group. Maria Forss has been appointed the new President and CEO and will assume office on November 27, 2023, or sooner.
Gatenholm’s trajectory within BICO is one of the great success stories of 3D printing. BICO’s history began when Erik and his partners founded a small bioink startup in the first half of the 2010s. The company, CELLINK, grew into offering low-cost bioprinters and expanded to a global scale, all the way to going public on the Swedish NASDAQ. Then the company, which eventually rebranded to BICO, began a period of expansion via several acquisitions within and without the bioprinting realm, hence emerging as a bioconvergence firm (described by the new name BICO) operating across several fields of regenerative medicine and biomedical research.
Now BICO, in spite of various challenges the company experienced in recent years, is a major global player and one of the most successful bioprinting companies in the world. The new CEO, Maria Forss (born 1972) has extensive international experience from leading positions in both medtech and pharma companies, such as Vitrolife and AstraZeneca. In the last years within Vitrolife Maria Forss has as the Senior Vice President led the Consumables Business Area. Before that, she was the Vice President of Business Development and Global Marketing. Maria Forss has successfully developed businesses through the whole value chain and in the whole product life cycle as well as acquisitions and integration of companies.
The Board of Directors has, together with Erik Gatenholm, concluded that the timing is right for a new CEO and President. This discussion was initiated by Erik Gatenholm, and he has together with the board concluded that in the next phase, BICO needs a CEO with strong operating skills and experience in scaling a global organization.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to welcome Maria Forss. She has profound leadership skills and life science experience, which will secure steadfast focus during BICO’s further development and create shareholder value”, says Rolf Classon, Chairman of the Board, BICO Group AB. “I would also like to thank Erik Gatenholm for his vision and dedication to building a strong life science company. During his tenure, the company has evolved into a Group built on a market-leading commercial portfolio.”
In order to enable a seamless transition, Erik Gatenholm will remain in his current position until Maria Forss assumes as new President and CEO. To secure continuity Erik Gatenholm will, as a major shareholder, also remain in his role as a board member of BICO.