tm2313443-1_nonfiling - none - 13.2249499s
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
SCHEDULE 14A
Proxy Statement Pursuant to Section 14(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Amendment No.      )
Filed by the Registrant ☒
Filed by a party other than the Registrant ☐
Check the appropriate box:

Preliminary Proxy Statement

Confidential, for Use of the Commission Only (as permitted by Rule 14a-6(e)(2))

Definitive Proxy Statement

Definitive Additional Materials

Soliciting Material Pursuant to §240.14a-12
Precigen, Inc.
(Name of Registrant as Specified In Its Charter)
(Name of Person(s) Filing Proxy Statement, if Other Than The Registrant)
Payment of Filing Fee (Check the appropriate box):

No fee required.

Fee paid previously with preliminary materials.

Fee computed on table in exhibit required by Item 25(b) per Exchange Act Rules 14a-6(i)(1) and 0-11.

 
PRECIGEN, INC.
20374 Seneca Meadows Parkway
Germantown, Maryland 20876
NOTICE OF 2023 ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS
To Be Held On June 8, 2023
To Our Shareholders:
You are cordially invited to attend the 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (the “Annual Meeting”) of Precigen, Inc. (“Precigen,” “we,” “us,” “our,” or the “Company”) to be held in virtual meeting format only at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, June 8, 2023, for the following purposes:
1.
to elect the nine nominees named in the accompanying Proxy Statement to the Board of Directors, each to serve a one-year term expiring at the earlier of the next Annual Meeting or until his or her successor is duly elected and qualified;
2.
to ratify the appointment by the Audit Committee of Deloitte & Touche LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023;
3.
to approve a non-binding advisory resolution approving the compensation of the named executive officers;
4.
to approve the Precigen, Inc. 2023 Omnibus Incentive Plan; and
5.
to transact any other business that may properly be brought before the Annual Meeting or any adjournments or postponements thereof.
To join the meeting webcast, go to www.VirtualShareholderMeeting.com/PGEN2023 shortly before the meeting time and follow the instructions.
As of the date of this notice, we have not received notice of any matters, other than those set forth above, that may properly be presented at the Annual Meeting. If any other matters are properly presented for consideration at the meeting, the persons named as proxies on the proxy card, or their duly constituted substitutes, will be deemed authorized to receive notice on behalf of and to vote the shares represented by proxy or otherwise act on those matters in accordance with their business judgment.
The Board of Directors has fixed the close of business on April 17, 2023 as the record date for determining those shareholders entitled to notice of and to vote at the Annual Meeting. As permitted by rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, we are furnishing our Proxy Statement and Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022 (the “2022 Annual Report”) over the internet to our shareholders. This means that our shareholders will receive only a notice containing instructions on how to access the proxy materials over the internet. If you would like to receive a paper copy of the proxy materials, the notice contains instructions on how you can request copies of these documents.
Your vote is very important to us. Please read the Proxy Statement and then, regardless of whether you are able to attend the Annual Meeting, vote your shares as promptly as possible. Please note that in the absence of specific instructions as to how to vote, brokers may not vote your shares on the election of directors, the non-binding proposal to approve the compensation of the named executive officers or the proposal to approve the Precigen, Inc. 2023 Omnibus Incentive Plan. You may revoke your proxy and change your vote by entering new instructions on either the telephone or internet voting system before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 7, 2023, by submitting a proxy with a later date before the polls close at the Annual Meeting, by delivering a written revocation to our Corporate Secretary such that it is received before the polls close at the Annual Meeting, or by voting your shares at the Annual Meeting. Please note that voting in advance in any of the ways described will not prevent you from attending the Annual Meeting should you choose to do so. Whether or not you attend the Annual Meeting, please vote your shares as promptly as possible.
 

 
By Order of the Board of Directors,
DONALD P. LEHR
Corporate Secretary
Germantown, Maryland
April 25, 2023
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING THE AVAILABILITY OF PROXY MATERIALS FOR
THE ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS TO BE HELD ON June 8, 2023
Our Proxy Statement and our 2022 Annual Report are available online, free of charge, at https://materials.proxyvote.com.
 

 
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PRECIGEN, INC.
20374 Seneca Meadows Parkway
Germantown, Maryland 20876
PROXY STATEMENT
2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders
This Proxy Statement and the accompanying proxy card are being furnished to you by the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Precigen, Inc. to solicit your proxy to vote your shares at our Annual Meeting, or at any adjournments or postponements thereof. The Annual Meeting will be held via an interactive webcast and will be called to order at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time, on Thursday, June 8, 2023. To join the meeting webcast, go to www.VirtualShareholderMeeting.com/PGEN2023 at least fifteen minutes before the meeting time and follow the instructions. You will need the 16-digit control number on your proxy card or voting instructions to join the meeting.
On or about April 25, 2023, we will commence mailing a notice to shareholders containing instructions on how to access the Proxy Statement, including the accompanying notice and the 2022 Annual Report, and on how to vote. These materials are being made available to you on the internet at www.proxyvote.com, however, we will promptly deliver printed versions of these materials to you by mail upon your request if submitted by May 26, 2023. Requests should be sent to the Corporate Secretary in writing at Precigen, Inc., 20374 Seneca Meadows Parkway, Germantown, Maryland 20876.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE ANNUAL MEETING
1.
Who is asking for my vote and why am I receiving this document?
The Board asks that you vote on the matters listed in the Notice of 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which are more fully described in this Proxy Statement. We are providing this Proxy Statement and related proxy card to our shareholders in connection with the solicitation by the Board of proxies to be voted at the Annual Meeting. A proxy, if duly executed and not revoked, will be voted and, if it contains any specific instructions, will be voted in accordance with those instructions.
2.
Who is entitled to vote?
Only holders of record of outstanding shares of our common stock at the close of business on April 17, 2023, are entitled to notice of and to vote at the Annual Meeting. At the close of business on April 17, 2023, there were 255,482,753 outstanding shares of common stock. Each share of common stock is entitled to one vote on each matter properly brought before the Annual Meeting.
3.
What is a proxy?
A proxy is your legal designation of another person to vote the stock you own. If you designate someone as your proxy or proxy holder in a written document, that document is called a proxy or a proxy card. Dr. Helen Sabzevari and Mr. Donald P. Lehr, or each of them, each with the power to appoint his or her substitute, have been designated as proxies or proxy holders for the Annual Meeting. A proxy properly executed and received by our Corporate Secretary by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 7, 2023 and not revoked will be voted in accordance with the terms thereof.
4.
What is a voting instruction?
A voting instruction is the instruction form you receive from your bank, broker, or its nominee if you hold your shares of common stock in street name. The instruction form instructs you how to direct your bank, broker, or its nominee, as record holder, to vote your shares of common stock.
5.
What am I voting on?
Shareholders are being asked to vote on each of the following items of business:

the election to the Board of the nine nominees named in this Proxy Statement, each to serve a one-year term expiring at the earlier of the next Annual Meeting or until his or her successor is duly elected and qualified;
 
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the ratification of the appointment by the Audit Committee of Deloitte & Touche LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023;

the approval of a non-binding advisory resolution approving the compensation of the named executive officers; and

the approval of the Precigen, Inc. 2023 Omnibus Incentive Plan (the “2023 Plan”).
In addition, any other matters that properly come before the Annual Meeting or any adjournment or postponement thereof will be considered. The persons named in the enclosed proxy card or voting instruction will vote the shares of common stock represented by the proxy in the manner as the Board may recommend, or otherwise at the proxy holders’ discretion. Neither management nor the Board presently knows of any other such matters.
6.   How many votes must be present to hold the Annual Meeting?
A majority of the outstanding shares of common stock entitled to be cast as of the record date must be present in person or represented by proxy at the Annual Meeting. This is referred to as a quorum. Abstentions and shares of record held by a broker or its nominee (“broker shares”) that are not voted on any matter (“broker non-votes”) are included in determining the existence of a quorum.
7.
What are the voting requirements to elect directors and approve the other proposals described in the Proxy Statement?
The vote required to elect directors and approve each of the matters scheduled for a vote at the annual meeting is set forth below:
Proposal
Vote Required
1.   Election of directors
Majority of votes cast
2.   Ratification of appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP
Majority of votes cast
3.   Advisory vote to approve executive compensation
Majority of votes cast
4.   Approval of the 2023 Plan
Majority of votes cast
Votes may be cast by proxy or in person. A “majority” of votes cast means that more votes were cast “for” the proposal than “against.” Abstentions and broker non-votes (described under “How are abstentions and broker non-votes counted?”) are not considered as votes cast and will have no effect on the vote outcome for Proposals 1, 2,3 and 4. As it relates to the election of our directors, our Corporate Governance Guidelines provide that any nominee for director in an uncontested election who receives a greater number of shareholder votes cast “against” his or her election than votes “for” his or her election must, promptly following certification of the shareholder vote, tender his or her resignation to the Board for consideration. For more details regarding the director resignation policy, please see “Election of Directors.”
8.
What are the voting recommendations of the Board?
For the reasons set forth in more detail later in this Proxy Statement, the Board unanimously recommends that you vote:

FOR the proposed nominees to the Board named in this Proxy Statement;

FOR the ratification of the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP;

FOR the approval of the non-binding advisory resolution to approve the compensation of our named executive officers; and

FOR the approval of the 2023 Plan.
9.
How do I vote?
Registered shareholders (shareholders who hold common stock in certificated form or book entry form on the records of our transfer agent as opposed to through a bank, broker or other nominee) may vote in person at the Annual Meeting or by proxy. There are three ways for registered shareholders to vote by proxy before the Annual Meeting:
 
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By Internet: Connect to the internet at www.proxyvote.com and follow the instructions included on the proxy card or voting instruction. Your proxy will be voted according to your instructions. If you vote by internet, you do not need to mail in a proxy card or voting instruction.

By Telephone: Call 1-800-690-6903 and follow the instructions included on the proxy card or voting instruction. If you vote by telephone, you do not need to mail in a proxy card or voting instruction.

By Mail: If you received your proxy materials by mail, complete, properly sign, date, and mail the enclosed proxy card.
Registered shareholders are urged to deliver proxies by using the internet, calling the toll-free telephone number, or by completing and mailing the proxy card. The internet and telephone voting procedures are designed to authenticate shareholders’ identities, to allow shareholders to give their proxies, and to confirm that such instructions have been recorded properly. Instructions for voting over the internet or by telephone are included on the enclosed proxy card. If you received your proxy materials via mail, registered shareholders may send their proxies by completing, signing, and dating the enclosed proxy card and returning it as promptly as possible in the enclosed prepaid envelope. The deadline for voting via the internet or telephone is 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on June 7, 2023.
Shareholders who hold common stock through banks, brokers, or other nominees (“street name shareholders”) who wish to vote at the Annual Meeting should receive voting instructions from the institution that holds their shares. Please contact the institution that holds your shares if you have not received voting instructions. Street name shareholders may also be eligible to vote their shares electronically by following the voting instructions provided by the bank, broker, or other nominee that holds the shares, using either the toll-free telephone number or the internet address provided on the voting instruction; or by completing, dating, and signing the voting instruction and returning it promptly in the enclosed prepaid envelope.
Shareholders can also vote via the internet during the virtual Annual Meeting by visiting: www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/PGEN2023. Only shareholders of record at the close of business on the record date, April 17, 2023, are entitled to participate in and to vote at the virtual Annual Meeting. To participate in the Annual Meeting, you will need the 16-digit control number included on your Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials, or on your proxy card or on your voting instruction form.
10.
Can I attend the Annual Meeting?
Yes. The Annual Meeting is open to all holders of our common stock as of the record date, April 17, 2023. However, even if you plan to attend the Annual Meeting, we encourage you to vote your shares in advance. You can attend the Annual Meeting live via the internet by visiting: www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/PGEN2023. Online check-in will begin at 8:45 a.m. Eastern Time. Please allow ample time for the online check-in process. Please note that there is no in-person location for you to attend.
To participate in the Annual Meeting, you will need the 16-digit control number included on your Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials or on your proxy card or any additional voting instructions that accompanied your proxy materials.
11.
How do I attend the virtual Annual Meeting? How can I ask questions during the Annual Meeting?
What if I experience technical difficulties at log-in or during the Annual Meeting?
Our virtual Annual Meeting will be conducted on the internet via webcast. You will be able to participate online and submit your questions during the Annual Meeting by visiting www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/PGEN2023. Shareholders will be able to vote their shares electronically during the Annual Meeting. To participate in the Annual Meeting, you will need the 16-digit control number on your proxy card of voting instruction form. The Annual Meeting will begin promptly at 9:00 am Eastern Time.
Shareholders may submit questions during the Annual Meeting. If you wish to submit a question, you may do so by logging into the virtual meeting platform at www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/PGEN2023, typing your question into the “Ask a Question” field, and clicking “Submit.” Questions pertinent to the Annual Meeting will be addressed during the Annual Meeting, subject to time constraints.
 
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If you encounter any difficulties accessing the virtual Annual Meeting during the check-in or meeting time, please call the technical support number that will be posted on the virtual Annual Meeting login page for assistance. Technical assistance will be available through the conclusion of the Annual Meeting.
12.
How will my shares be voted if I sign, date, and submit my proxy or voting instruction, but do not provide complete voting instructions with respect to each proposal?
Shareholders should specify their vote for each matter on the proxy or voting instruction. The proxies solicited by this Proxy Statement vest in the proxy holders voting rights with respect to the election of directors (unless the shareholder marks the proxy to withhold that authority) and on all other matters voted upon at the Annual Meeting.
Unless otherwise directed in the enclosed proxy card, the persons named as proxies therein will vote all properly executed, returned, and not-revoked proxy cards or voting instruction cards: (i) “FOR” the election of the nine director nominees listed thereon; (ii) “FOR” the proposal to ratify the appointment by the Audit Committee of Deloitte & Touche LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023; (iii) “FOR” the non-binding proposal to approve the compensation of our named executive officers; and (iv) “FOR” the approval of the 2023 Plan.
13.
How will my shares be voted if I do not return my proxy or my voting instruction?
It will depend on how your ownership of shares of common stock is registered. If you own your shares as a record holder, which means that your shares of common stock are registered in your name, if you do not vote in advance of the Annual Meeting by submitting a proxy, your unvoted shares will not be represented at the Annual Meeting and will not count toward the quorum requirement, as explained under “How many votes must be present to hold the Annual Meeting?,” unless you attend the Annual Meeting to vote them in person.
If you are a street name shareholder and your shares are registered in the name of your bank, broker or its nominee, your shares may be voted even if you do not provide your bank, broker, or other nominee with voting instructions. Your bank, broker, or other nominee may vote your shares in its discretion on “routine” matters. However, your bank, broker, or other nominee may not vote your shares on proposals that are not considered routine. When a proposal is not a routine matter and your bank, broker, or other nominee has not received your voting instructions with respect to such proposal, your bank, broker, or other nominee cannot vote your shares on that proposal. When a bank, broker, or other nominee does not cast a vote for a non-routine matter, it is called a “broker non-vote.”
Therefore, please note that in the absence of your specific instructions as to how to vote, your bank, broker, or other nominee may not vote your shares with respect to the election of directors, the non-binding proposal to approve the compensation of the named executive officers, or the proposal to approve the 2023 Plan. These matters are not considered routine matters. However, the ratification of the appointment by the Audit Committee of Deloitte & Touche LLP is a routine matter for which brokerage firms may vote on behalf of their clients if no voting instructions are provided. Therefore, if you are a street name shareholder whose shares of common stock are held with a bank, broker, or other nominee and you do not return your voting instructions, your bank, broker, or other nominee may vote your shares on the ratification of the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm. Please return your proxy so your vote can be counted.
14.
How are abstentions and broker non-votes counted?
Only votes cast “for” or “against” are included in determining the votes cast with respect to any matter presented for consideration at the Annual Meeting. As described above, when brokers do not have discretion to vote or do not exercise such discretion, the inability or failure to vote is referred to as a “broker non-vote.” Proxies marked as abstaining, and any proxies returned by brokers as “non-votes” on behalf of shares held in street name because beneficial owners did not vote on one or more matters to be acted upon at the Annual Meeting, will be treated as present for purposes of determining whether a quorum is present at the Annual Meeting. Broker non-votes and abstentions will not be included in the vote total for the proposal to elect the nominees for director and will not affect the outcome of the vote for the proposal. In addition, under Virginia corporate law, abstentions are not counted as votes cast on a proposal. Therefore, abstentions
 
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and broker non-votes will not count either in favor of or against (i) the election of directors, (ii) the ratification of the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP, (iii) the non-binding proposal to approve the compensation of the named executive officers, and (iv) the approval of the 2023 Plan.
15.   What if I change my mind after I vote?
Whether you vote by internet, telephone, or by mail, you may later revoke your proxy and change your vote before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 by:

entering new instructions on either the telephone or internet voting system before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, June 7, 2023;

delivering a properly signed proxy with a later date than the previously submitted proxy card before the polls close at the Annual Meeting;

delivering a written revocation to our Corporate Secretary at 20374 Seneca Meadows Parkway, Germantown, Maryland 20876; or

voting virtually at the Annual Meeting.
Attendance at the virtual Annual Meeting alone without voting will not revoke a previously granted proxy. If you are a street name shareholder whose stock is held with a bank, broker, or other nominee, you must follow the instructions found on the voting instruction card provided by the bank, broker, or other nominee, or contact your bank, broker, or other nominee to change or revoke your previously given proxy.
16.
Who pays the cost of proxy solicitation?
We will pay all expenses of soliciting proxies, including clerical work, printing, and postage. Our officers and other employees may personally solicit proxies or solicit proxies by internet, telephone, mail, or facsimile, but we will not provide any compensation for such solicitations. We will also reimburse banks, brokers, and other persons holding shares in their names or in the names of nominees for expenses incurred sending material to beneficial owners and obtaining proxies from beneficial owners.
17.
Could other matters be decided in the Annual Meeting?
The Board does not know of any other business that may be brought before the Annual Meeting. However, if any other matters should properly come before the Annual Meeting or at any adjournment or postponement thereof, it is the intention of the persons named in the accompanying proxy to vote on such matters as they, in their discretion, may determine.
18.
How do I make a shareholder proposal for the 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders?
Pursuant to Rule 14a-8 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), we must receive any proposals from shareholders intended for inclusion in the proxy statement for our 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders no later than 120 days before the anniversary date of the distribution of this Proxy Statement (i.e., December 27, 2023). Holders of common stock who wish to have proposals submitted for inclusion in the proxy statement for our 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders should consult the applicable rules and regulations of the SEC with respect to such proposals, including certain information required to be in the proposal, the permissible number and length of proposals, and other matters governed by such rules and regulations. Proposals should be submitted to Precigen, Inc., 20374 Seneca Meadows Parkway, Germantown, Maryland 20876.
The Bylaws also set forth the procedures a shareholder must follow to nominate directors or to bring other business before shareholder meetings. For a shareholder to nominate a candidate for director or bring other matters pursuant to these procedures at the 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, we must receive notice of the nomination or proposal no earlier than the close of business on February 9, 2024 and no later than the close of business on March 10, 2024, provided, however, that if our 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders is scheduled to be held before May 9, 2024 or after August 17, 2024, notice shall be delivered not earlier than the close of business on the 120th day prior to such meeting and not later than the close of business on the later of the 90th day prior to such annual meeting or the 10th day following the day we announce the new meeting date. For the nomination of a candidate for director, the notice must describe
 
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various matters as set forth in our Bylaws, including regarding the nominee, including name, address, occupation, and shares held. In addition to complying with the advance notice provisions of our Bylaws, to nominate a director, shareholders must give timely notice that complies with the additional requirements of Rule 14a-19, and which must be received no later than April 9, 2024. For bringing other proposals of business pursuant to these procedures at the 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the notice must include a description of the proposed business, the reasons therefor, and other matters specified in our Bylaws. In each case, the notice must be timely given in writing to our Corporate Secretary, whose address is 20374 Seneca Meadows Parkway, Germantown, Maryland 20876.
 
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CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
General
Our business and affairs are managed under the direction of the Board in accordance with the Virginia Stock Corporation Act, our Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation, and our Bylaws. Our Bylaws provide that the number of directors shall be fixed from time to time by the Board, but shall not be more than ten. The Board is currently comprised of the following ten individuals: Randal Kirk, the Executive Chairman of the Board, Cesar Alvarez, Steven Frank, Vinita Gupta, Fred Hassan, Jeffrey Kindler, Dean Mitchell, Dr. Helen Sabzevari, our Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), Robert Shapiro, and James Turley. Nine out of the ten current directors are being nominated for election to the Board at the Annual Meeting. Mr. Shapiro has not been nominated for reelection, and will be retiring at the Annual Meeting. The Board has reduced its size to nine directors, effective as of the Annual Meeting. For more information regarding the nominees for election to the Board, see “Nominees for Election as Directors.”
Corporate Governance Guidelines
The Board has adopted corporate governance guidelines (the “Corporate Governance Guidelines”) that set forth the practices of the Board with respect to the qualification, selection and election of directors, director orientation and continuing education, director responsibilities, Board composition and performance, director access to management and independent advisors, director compensation guidelines, management evaluation and succession, policies regarding the Lead Independent Director, meetings of the non-management directors, the policy on communicating with the non-management directors, and various other issues. A copy of our Corporate Governance Guidelines is available on our website at http://investors.precigen.com under the caption “Governance.” Neither the Corporate Governance Guidelines, our website nor any documents or information contained therein are incorporated by reference to this proxy statement.
Board Standards of Independence
The Board has set forth our independence standards in our Corporate Governance Guidelines and bylaws. These standards provide that a majority of the Board must be independent under the independence standards established by the Corporate Governance Guidelines, The Nasdaq Stock Market (“Nasdaq”) and the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) as in effect from time to time. For a Board member or candidate for election to the Board to qualify as independent, the Board must determine that the person and his or her family members do not have a material relationship with us (either directly or as a partner, shareholder, or officer of an organization that has a relationship with us) or any of our affiliates. Under the categorical standards adopted by the Board, a member of the Board is not independent if:

The director is, or has been within the last three years, our employee, or whose family member is, or has been within the last three years, an executive officer of the Company;

The director has received, or has a family member serving as an executive officer who has received, during any 12-month period within the three years preceding the determination of independence, more than $120,000 in direct compensation from us, other than director and committee fees, compensation made to a family member who is an employee (other than an executive officer) of the Company, and benefits under a tax-qualified retirement plan or non-discretionary compensation;

(i) The director is a current partner of a firm that is our internal or external auditor; (ii) the director has a family member who is a current partner of such a firm; or (iii) the director, or a family member, was within the last three years a partner or employee of such a firm and personally worked on our audit within that time;

The director or a family member is, or has been within the last three years, employed as an executive officer of another company where any of our present executive officers at the same time serves or served on that company’s compensation committee; or

The director is or a family member is, a partner in (excluding limited partners), or a controlling shareholder or executive officer of, any organization to which we made, or from which we received,
 
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payments for property or services in an amount which, in any of the last three fiscal years, exceeds the greater of $200,000, or 5%, of such other company’s consolidated gross revenues.
With the exception of Mr. Kirk, our Executive Chairman of the Board, and Dr. Sabzevari, our CEO, the Board has affirmatively determined that each of Cesar Alvarez, Steven Frank, Vinita Gupta, Fred Hassan, Jeffrey Kindler, Dean Mitchell, Robert Shapiro, and James Turley is independent in accordance with the above standards and applicable Nasdaq and NYSE guidelines.
In determining that Mr. Alvarez is independent, the Board considered that Mr. Alvarez is the Senior Chairman of Greenberg Traurig, LLP (“Greenberg Traurig”). As discussed under “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions,” Greenberg Traurig provides legal services to us from time to time for which it has received, and may continue to receive, customary fees. During 2020, 2021 and 2022, we paid Greenberg Traurig $1,350,502, $9,767 and $0, respectively, for legal services, constituting less than 5% of Greenberg Traurig’s annual gross revenues. As the Senior Chairman, Mr. Alvarez does not participate in the provision of such services and does not materially benefit from the engagement, and his compensation from Greenberg Traurig is not based on such services provided to us. The Board has determined that this relationship is not material and that it does not impair Mr. Alvarez’s independence.
In determining that Mr. Turley is independent, the Board considered that Mr. Turley is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ernst & Young LLP. From time to time, Ernst &Young provides strategy consulting, valuation and technical accounting services to us, for which it receives customary fees. As Mr. Turley retired from Ernst & Young over nine years ago in June 2013, Mr. Turley does not participate in such services and does not materially benefit from the engagement. The Board has determined that this relationship is not material and that it does not impair Mr. Turley’s independence.
Board Meetings and Attendance at Annual Meeting of Shareholders
There were 11 meetings of the Board held either in person or by teleconference in 2022. Each director except for Steven Frank attended at least 75% of the combined meetings of the Board and the committees on which he or she served during the year scheduled during the time each member was a director. Mr. Frank attended all regularly scheduled meetings. Our independent directors meet in executive session without management at least quarterly.
Our Corporate Governance Guidelines provide that all directors are strongly encouraged to attend all annual and special meetings of our shareholders. All members of the Board at the time of the 2022 Annual Meeting attended the 2022 Annual Meeting.
Board Leadership Structure
As specified in the Corporate Governance Guidelines, the Board does not have a policy on whether the roles of the CEO and Chairman should be separate or, if they are to be separate, whether the Chairman should be selected from the non-employee directors or be an employee. Currently, the roles are separate. Mr. Kirk currently serves as Executive Chairman and Dr. Sabzevari serves as CEO. Prior to Dr. Sabzevari assuming the role of CEO in January 2020 and Mr. Kirk becoming Executive Chairman, Mr. Kirk had served as Chairman of the Board since February 2008 and CEO since April 2009. We believe that separating the Executive Chairman and CEO roles at this time allows us to efficiently develop and implement corporate strategy consistent with the Board’s oversight role while also facilitating strong day-to-day executive leadership.
The Board believes that Mr. Kirk is well situated to serve as Executive Chairman because his unique and extensive experience and deep understanding of our business as well as his broad business experience as CEO of, and significant investor in, multiple successful biotech companies enable him to deliver strategic insight on key issues, to serve as a valuable bridge between the Board and management, and to provide valuable leadership experience. Mr. Kirk’s Executive Chairman responsibilities include the following:

advising and supporting the CEO on governance matters;

serving as a liaison between the Board and senior management;

acting as a source of institutional knowledge;
 
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together with the Lead Independent Director, and with input from the non-management and independent Board members, preparing the Board’s agenda;

chairing and guiding discussion at Board meetings; and

performing such other duties and responsibilities as may be delegated to the Executive Chairman by the Board from time to time.
Mr. Turley currently serves as our Lead Independent Director. The Board established the position of Lead Independent Director in the Corporate Governance Guidelines to serve as a principal liaison between the independent directors and the Executive Chairman and the CEO as well as to coordinate the activities of the other independent directors. The Lead Independent Director is in frequent contact with the Executive Chairman and the CEO and is regularly consulted on material matters. We currently maintain a significant majority of independent directors (Mr. Kirk and Dr. Sabzevari are the only non-independent directors). The Lead Independent Director is elected by the independent directors and ensures that the Board operates independently of management, and that directors and shareholders have an independent leadership contact.
The responsibilities of the Lead Independent Director of the Board include the following:

presiding over meetings of the non-management and independent Board members and, as appropriate, provide prompt feedback to the CEO and Executive Chairman;

together with the Executive Chairman, and with input from the non-management and independent Board members, preparing the Board’s agenda;

serving as a point of contact between non-management and independent Board members and the CEO on board-wide matters;

calling executive sessions of the Board or of the non-management and independent Board members;

serving as a “sounding board” and mentor to the CEO;

taking the lead in assuring that the Board carries out its responsibilities in circumstances where the Executive Chairman is incapacitated or otherwise unable to act;

consulting with the Chairman of the Compensation and Human Capital Management Committee (the “Compensation Committee”) to provide performance feedback and compensation information to the CEO and the Executive Chairman; and

performing such other duties and responsibilities as may be delegated to the Lead Independent Director by the Board from time to time.
As part of the Board’s annual assessment process, the Board evaluates the Board’s leadership structure to ensure that it remains appropriate. The Board recognizes that there may be circumstances in the future that would lead it to combine the roles of CEO and Chairman of the Board or to have an independent Chairman, but believes that the absence of a policy requiring either the separation or combination of these roles provides the Board with the flexibility to determine the best leadership structure.
The Board’s Role in Risk Oversight
The Board is responsible for our risk oversight, and each committee of the Board is responsible for risk oversight within such committee’s area of responsibility and regularly reports to the Board regarding the same. Management is responsible for our risk management, including providing working to ensure our policies are carried out and processes are executed in accordance with our performance goals and risk tolerance. On a regular basis, our management team identifies, discusses, and assesses financial risk from current macroeconomic, industry, and company perspectives. Our management team also provides regular reports to the Board and its committees on areas of our material risk, including operational, financial, legal, and regulatory as well as strategic and reputational risks.
The Audit Committee is responsible for discussing with management our major financial risk exposures and the steps and processes management has taken to monitor and control such exposures, including our risk assessment and risk management policies. As part of its regular reporting process, management reports
 
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and reviews with the Audit Committee our material risks, including, but not limited to, proposed risk factors and other public disclosures, mitigation strategies, and our internal controls over financial reporting. The Audit Committee also engages in regular periodic discussions with the Chief Financial Officer and other members of management regarding risks, as appropriate.
In carrying out its responsibilities, the Compensation Committee considers the impact of executive and employee compensation on our risk profile, as well as overseeing the development, implementation and effectiveness of our human capital management policies, programs and initiatives, including with respect to recruitment, retention and development of our employees. The Compensation Committee’s responsibilities also include the consideration of succession planning for our Chief Executive Officer and other executive officers.
The Nominating and Governance Committee’s responsibilities include the consideration of corporate governance matters and risks. The Nominating and Governance Committee also oversees the Company’s environmental, social and governance, or ESG matters. The Nominating and Governance Committee’s duties include considering with management public policy issues that may affect the Company, including pertinent ESG matters.
Each committee regularly reports to the Board. Moreover, the Board reviews and oversees our various financial policies, financing programs, capital and operating plans, benefit plan management, ESG matters and certain risk management policies. We believe the current leadership structure of the Board supports the risk oversight functions described above by providing independent leadership at each of the committee levels, with ultimate oversight by the full Board, as led by the Executive Chairman and the Lead Independent Director.
Board Committees
The Board maintains three standing committees: the Audit Committee; the Compensation Committee; and the Nominating and Governance Committee. Each of these committees has a separate chairperson and is composed entirely of directors that meet the applicable independence requirements of the SEC, Nasdaq and NYSE. Each committee operates under a written charter that is reviewed periodically and, has been approved, by the Board. A current copy of each committee’s charter is available on our website at http://investors.precigen.com under the caption “Governance.” In addition, from time to time, the Board may create ad hoc committees for specific purposes.
Audit Committee
The members of the Audit Committee are Messrs. Kindler, Mitchell, and Shapiro. Mr. Kindler is the chair of the Audit Committee. During 2022, the Audit Committee met 4 times. The Board has determined that each member of the Audit Committee is “independent” within the meaning of the enhanced independence standards for audit committee members in the Exchange Act, and the rules thereunder, as incorporated into the listing standards of Nasdaq and NYSE, and the independence standards of our Corporate Governance Guidelines as discussed above under “CORPORATE GOVERNANCE — Board Standards of Independence.” The Board has further determined that Mr. Kindler qualifies as an “audit committee financial expert” within the meaning of SEC regulations and is “financially sophisticated” within the meaning of the Nasdaq rules. The Audit Committee assists the Board in its oversight of our accounting and financial reporting process and the audits of our consolidated financial statements. The Audit Committee’s responsibilities include, among other things, overseeing:

our accounting and financial reporting processes;

the integrity of our consolidated financial statements;

our compliance with laws and regulations;

our independent registered public accounting firm’s qualifications and independence; and

the performance of our independent registered public accounting firm.
The Audit Committee appoints, oversees, and evaluates the performance of our independent registered public accounting firm for each fiscal year and approves the audit and non-audit services to be provided by
 
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such firm. The Audit Committee also reviews the scope and the results of the work of the independent registered public accounting firm and reviews the adequacy of internal control over financial reporting. The functions and responsibilities of the Audit Committee are further described in the “Audit Committee Report.”
Compensation Committee
The members of the Compensation Committee are Messrs. Hassan, Kindler, and Turley. Mr. Turley is the chair of the Compensation Committee. During 2022, the Compensation Committee met 5 times. The Compensation Committee’s responsibilities include, among others:

developing and maintaining an executive compensation policy and monitoring the results of that policy;

considering the impact of our compensation policy and practices on our risk profile;

recommending to the Board for approval compensation and benefit plans;

reviewing and approving annually corporate and personal goals and objectives to serve as the basis for the CEO’s compensation, evaluating the CEO’s performance in light of those goals and objectives and determining the CEO’s compensation based on that evaluation;

determining and approving annual compensation for other executive officers;

approving grants of equity-based incentives to the extent provided under the our equity compensation plans, subject to the Committee’s authority to delegate the power to grant awards to employees or non-executive service providers who are not directors or executive officers;

reviewing and making recommendations to the Board regarding the compensation of non-employee directors, including the Executive Chairman;

reviewing and discussing with management the “Compensation Discussion and Analysis” to the extent required by SEC rules;

preparing the Compensation Committee report when required by SEC rules;

reviewing any executive employment-related agreements, proposed severance or retirement arrangements, or change and control or similar agreements, and any amendments or waivers to any such agreements;

overseeing the development, implementation and effectiveness of the Company’s human capital management policies, programs and initiatives, including with respect to recruiting, retaining and developing our employees;

overseeing the succession planning process with respect to the Chief Executive Officer and other key executive officers; and

reviewing and recommending to the Board for approval our approach with respect to the advisory vote on executive compensation, or say-on-pay, and the frequency of the say-on-pay advisory vote.
The Compensation Committee charter specifies that each member must be a “non-employee director” for purposes of Rule 16b-3 of the Exchange Act. The Board has determined that the members of this Committee are “independent directors” ​(as defined under the applicable Nasdaq and NYSE listing standards and our Corporate Governance Guidelines as discussed above under “Corporate Governance — Board Standards of Independence”) and “non-employee directors” ​(within the meaning of Rule 16b-3 of the Exchange Act). In addition, the current members of this Committee have been members of other public company boards of directors, are current or former executive officers of public companies, or have or have had comparable positions.
The processes and procedures followed by the Compensation Committee in considering and determining executive compensation, including the role of the outside compensation consultant, are described below under “Compensation Discussion and Analysis — The Compensation Review Process.”
 
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Nominating and Governance Committee
The members of the Nominating and Governance Committee are Mr. Alvarez, Ms. Gupta, and Mr. Shapiro. Mr. Alvarez is the chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee. During 2022, the Nominating and Governance Committee met one time. The Nominating and Governance Committee’s responsibilities include, among others:

considering and reviewing periodically the desired composition of the Board, including such factors as diversity of backgrounds and expertise and tenure, and ensuring that the Board is composed so as to satisfy SEC listing requirements and Nasdaq rules, including the independence of directors and the financial and accounting experience of directors;

establishing and reviewing qualifications and standards for individual directors in the context of the current composition of the Board, the Company’s operating requirements, and the long-term interests of our shareholders, and periodically reviewing these qualifications and standards;

identifying, nominating, and evaluating candidates for election to the Board;

making recommendations to the Board regarding the size of the Board, the tenure and classifications of directors, and the composition of the Board’s committees;

reviewing and evaluating our various governance policies and guidelines, including pertinent ESG matters;

reviewing committee structure and effectiveness; and

considering other corporate governance and related matters as requested by the Board.
The Board has determined that all members of the Nominating and Governance Committee are “independent” within the meaning of the listing standards of Nasdaq and NYSE and the independence standards set by the Board as discussed above in “Corporate Governance — Board Standards of Independence.”
Director Candidate Recommendations by Shareholders
The Nominating and Governance Committee’s charter provides that the Committee will consider director candidate recommendations by shareholders. Shareholder recommendations for candidates to be nominees will be evaluated under the same standards as potential nominees recommended by management or the non-management members of the Board. Shareholders should submit any such director recommendations to the Nominating and Governance Committee through the method described in our Bylaws. The Nominating and Governance Committee did not receive any recommendations from any shareholders in connection with the 2023 Annual Meeting.
Nominating and Governance Committee Process for Identifying and Evaluating Director Candidates
The Nominating and Governance Committee identifies and evaluates all director candidates in accordance with the director qualification standards described in the Corporate Governance Guidelines. The Committee evaluates a candidate’s qualifications to serve as a member of the Board based on the background, diversity, and expertise in relevant industries of individual Board members as well as the background and expertise of the Board as a whole. Nominees will be required to bring the skills, talents, knowledge, and expertise to ensure that the composition, structure, and operation of the Board serve the best interests of our shareholders. In addition, the Committee will evaluate a candidate’s independence and his or her background and expertise in the context of the Board’s needs.
Our Corporate Governance Guidelines and Nominating and Governance Committee charter provides that we will consider diversity, including diversity of backgrounds, in considering the composition of and evaluating nominees to the Board. Both our Corporate Governance Guidelines and the Nominating and Governance Committee charter specifically provide that diversity includes diversity of viewpoints, experience, race, ethnicity, gender and age.
Racial or ethnic minorities and women currently comprise 44% of our directors nominees, based on director self-identification. Specifically, women comprise 22% of our director nominees and racial and
 
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ethnic minorities comprise 44% of our director nominees. However, we have no formal requirement regarding Board diversity. Our priority in selection of Board members is identification of members who will further the interests of our shareholders through their established records of professional accomplishment, the ability to contribute positively to the collaborative culture among Board members, knowledge of our business, and understanding of the competitive landscape of the industries in which we operate. We will consider, in identifying first-time candidates, assessing nominees for director (including incumbent directors), or evaluating individuals recommended by shareholders, the current composition of the Board in light of the diverse communities and geographies we serve and the interplay of the candidate’s or nominee’s diverse individual experience, education, skills, background, and other qualities and attributes with those of the other Board members. The Nominating and Governance Committee and Board monitor the Board’s effectiveness through the Board’s self-evaluation process. As described under “Nominees for Election as Directors,” the Nominating and Governance Committee and the Board believe that the current composition of the Board reflects a group of highly talented individuals with diverse backgrounds, skills, professional, and industry experience, and other personal qualities and attributes best suited to perform oversight responsibilities for us and our shareholders.
Code of Business Conduct and Ethics
We have adopted a written code of business conduct and ethics (the “Code of Conduct”) that applies to our directors, officers, and employees, including our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer or controller, and persons performing similar functions. The Code of Conduct covers a broad range of professional conduct, including employment policies, conflicts of interest, intellectual property, and the protection of confidential information, as well as adherence to all laws and regulations applicable to the conduct of our business.
A copy of the Code of Conduct is available on our website at http://investors.precigen.com under the caption “Governance.” If we make any substantive amendments to, or grant any waivers from, the Code of Conduct for any officer or director, we intend to satisfy the disclosure requirement under Item 5.05 of Form 8-K by disclosing the nature of such amendment or waiver on our website.
Political Contributions
In general, it is not our practice to make financial or in-kind political contributions with corporate assets, even when permitted by applicable law.
Communications with the Board
We have established a policy pursuant to which shareholders wishing to communicate with the Board as a group, the Lead Independent Director or individual directors may do so by writing to the following address: Precigen, Inc., 20374 Seneca Meadows Parkway, Germantown, Maryland 20876; Attn: Corporate Secretary.
The communication must prominently display the legend “BOARD COMMUNICATION” in order to indicate to the Corporate Secretary that it is a communication for the Board. Upon receiving such a communication, the Corporate Secretary will promptly forward the communication to the relevant individual or group to which it is addressed. The Board has requested that certain items that are unrelated to the Board’s duties and responsibilities be excluded, such as spam, junk mail and mass mailings, resumes, and other forms of job inquiries, surveys, and business solicitations or advertisements.
The Corporate Secretary will not forward any communication determined in his or her good faith belief to be frivolous, unduly hostile, threatening, illegal, or similarly unsuitable. Each communication subject to this policy that was not forwarded because it was determined by the Corporate Secretary to be frivolous is retained for a reasonable period of time in our files and made available at the request of any member of the Board to whom such communication was addressed.
 
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BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP OF COMMON STOCK
The following table sets forth information regarding beneficial ownership of our share capital as of March 31, 2023 by (i) each of our directors, (ii) each of our named executive officers, (iii) all of our directors and executive officers as a group, and (iv) each person, or group of affiliated persons, known by us to beneficially own more than 5% of our shares of common stock.
The percentage ownership information is based on an aggregate 255,482,753 shares of common stock outstanding as of March 31, 2023.
Except as otherwise noted below, the address for each person or entity listed in the table is c/o Precigen, Inc., 20374 Seneca Meadows Parkway, Germantown, Maryland 20876.
Name of Beneficial Owner
Outstanding
Shares
Beneficially
Owned
(1)
Right to
Acquire
Beneficial
Ownership
(2)
Total Shares
Beneficially
Owned
Percentage
of Shares
Beneficially
Owned
Directors/director nominees
RJ Kirk and Affiliates(3)
96,160,665 536,226 96,696,891 37.6%
Cesar L. Alvarez
419,390 448,010 867,400 *
Steven Frank
482,358 448,010 930,368 *
Vinita Gupta(4)
301,730 438,805 740,535 *
Fred Hassan
308,597 454,025 762,622 *
Jeffrey B. Kindler
334,961 448,009 782,970 *
Dean J. Mitchell
331,836 448,010 779,846 *
Robert B. Shapiro(5)
329,656 452,918 782,574 *
James Turley
321,898 486,611 808,509 *
Named executive officers
*
Helen Sabzevari
1,220,786 3,861,850 7,087,382 2.0%
Harry Thomasian Jr.
120,829 95,000 547,644 *
Donald P. Lehr
385,632 470,355 1,025,158 *
Jeffrey Perez
418,768 465,233 1,045,780 *
Rutul R. Shah
92,997 179,051 552,457 *
Current executive officers and directors as a group(6)
101,230,103 9,232,113 110,462,216 41.7%
Greater than 5% shareholders
Ares Trading SA(7)
20,647,152 8.1%
*
Represents beneficial ownership of less than 1% of our outstanding shares of common stock.
(1)
Beneficial ownership is determined in accordance with the rules and regulations of the SEC and includes sole or shared voting or investment power with respect to shares of our common stock. The information set forth in the table above is not necessarily indicative of beneficial ownership for any other purpose, and the inclusion of any shares deemed beneficially owned in this table does not constitute an admission of beneficial ownership of those shares. Except as otherwise noted, to our knowledge, the persons and entities named in the table above have sole voting and investment power with respect to all of the shares of common stock beneficially owned by them, subject to community property laws, where applicable.
(2)
Consists of shares of common stock subject to stock options exercisable as of, or within 60 days of, March 31, 2023 and restricted stock units vesting within 60 days of March 31, 2023. Shares of common stock subject to stock options that are exercisable as of, or within 60 days of, March 31, 2023 and restricted stock units vesting within 60 days of March 31, 2023 are deemed to be outstanding and beneficially owned by the person holding the option or the restricted stock unit for the purpose of
 
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calculating the percentage ownership of that person, but are not deemed outstanding for the purpose of calculating the percentage ownership of any other person.
(3)
Includes shares held by the following entities over which Mr. Kirk (or an entity over which he exercises exclusive control) exercises exclusive control: 490,401 shares held by JPK 2008 LLC, 3,703,398 shares held by JPK 2009 LLC, 1,654,363 shares held by JPK 2012, LLC, 13,520,789 shares held by Kapital Joe, LLC, 453,731 shares held by Kellie L. Banks (2009) Long Term Trust, 1,403 shares held by Lotus Capital (2000) Co., Inc., 489,438 shares held by MGK 2008 LLC, 3,944,437 shares held by MGK 2009 LLC, 1,637,040 shares held by MGK 2011, LLC, 31,337,786 shares held by R.J. Kirk Declaration of Trust, 16,406,828 shares held by Sunset 2020 LLC, 19,711 shares held by Third Security Incentive 2006 LLC, 832,500 shares held by Third Security Incentive 2007, 691,929 shares held by Third Security Incentive 2009, 1,384,408 shares held by Third Security Incentive 2010 LLC, 118,266 shares held by Third Security Senior Staff 2006 LLC, 4,995,000 shares held by Third Security Senior Staff 2007, 3,223,803 shares held by Third Security Senior Staff 2008 LLC, 1,015,604 shares held by Third Security Senior Staff 2015 LLC, 58,800 shares held by Third Security Senior Staff LLC, 311,287 shares held by Third Security Staff 2001 LLC, 59,133 shares held by Third Security Staff 2006 LLC, 2,497,500 shares held by Third Security Staff 2007, 1,383,858 shares held by Third Security Staff 2009, 1,839,946 shares held by Third Security Staff 2010 LLC, 1,015,626 shares held by Third Security Staff 2015 LLC, 578,079 shares held by ZSK 2008 LLC, and 351,120 shares held by ZSK 2009 LLC, 1,000,000 shares held by Parkview 2020. Also includes 1,144,481 shares held by Alana D. Czypinski, Mr. Kirk’s spouse.
(4)
Includes 3,000 shares held in the Sharma-Gupta Marital Property Trust, an affiliate of Vinita Gupta.
(5)
Includes 82,966 shares held in the Robert B. Shapiro Revocable Trust, an affiliate of Robert Shapiro.
(6)
Consists of 14 persons as of March 31, 2023.
(7)
Information is based on the Schedule 13G that was filed with the SEC on January 27, 2023 by Ares Trading SA (“Ares Trading”) and certain other information known to us. Ares Trading is a dominantly controlled subsidiary of Merck Serono S.A., Coinsins, Switzerland, an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Merck Serono S.A., Coinsins, Switzerland is a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Merck Serono S.A., Coinsins, Switzerland and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany may be deemed to possess sole voting and dispositive power with respect to the securities held of record by Ares Trading. The address of Ares Trading is Zone Industrielle de l’Outriettaz, 1170 Aubonne, Switzerland.
No Delinquent Section 16(a) Reports
Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act requires our executive officers, directors, and persons who own more than 10% of our equity securities, to file reports of ownership and changes in ownership with the SEC and provide us with copies of such reports. Based solely on a review of the copies of these reports furnished to us, we believe that all such filing requirements applicable to such officers and directors and greater than 10% shareholders were complied with during 2022.
 
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PROPOSAL 1
ELECTION OF DIRECTORS
Background
Upon the recommendation of the Nominating and Governance Committee, the Board has unanimously nominated nine incumbent directors, all of whom were elected by our shareholders at our 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, for election to the Board at the Annual Meeting and to hold office until their successors have been elected and qualified or until their earlier resignation or removal. Each nominee has consented to being named as such and to serve as a director if elected. Mr. Shapiro has not been nominated for reelection, and will be retiring at the Annual Meeting.
Our Bylaws provide that, in uncontested director elections (i.e., an election where the number of nominees is not greater than the number of directors to be elected), a nominee for director will be elected to the Board if the votes cast for such nominee’s election exceed the votes cast against such nominee’s election. However, directors will be elected by a plurality of the votes cast at any meeting of the shareholders for which (i) the Corporate Secretary receives a notice that a shareholder has nominated a person for election to the Board in compliance with the advance notice requirements for shareholder nominees for director set forth in the Bylaws and (ii) such nomination has not been withdrawn by such shareholder on or prior to the 10th day preceding the date we first mail the notice of meeting for such meeting to the shareholders (i.e., if there is a contested director election). If directors are to be elected by a plurality of the votes cast, the shareholders may withhold votes, but will not be permitted to vote against a nominee.
Our Corporate Governance Guidelines provide that any nominee for director in an uncontested election who receives a greater number of shareholder votes cast “against” his or her election than votes “for” his or her election must, promptly following certification of the shareholder vote, tender his or her resignation to the Board for consideration. The Nominating and Governance Committee will then evaluate the best interests of the Company and will recommend to the Board whether to accept or reject the tendered resignation. Following the Board’s receipt of this recommendation and determination as to whether to accept the resignation, we will disclose the Board’s decision and an explanation of how the decision was reached.
There were no nominee recommendations from shareholders or from any group of shareholders submitted in accordance with our Bylaws. Proxies solicited by the Board will be voted in favor of the nominees listed below unless otherwise specified in the proxy. We know of no reason why the nominees would not be available for election or, if elected, would be unable to serve. While we do not anticipate that any of the nominees will be unable to serve, if any should be unable to serve, the proxy holders reserve the right to substitute another person designated by the Board or the Board may reduce its size.
Vote Required and Board Recommendation
Each director nominee must receive the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast in order to be elected. As this proposal is not considered a “routine item,” your bank, broker, or other nominee cannot vote your shares without receiving your voting instructions. Abstentions and broker non-votes will not count “for” or “against” the election of any nominee.
THE BOARD UNANIMOUSLY RECOMMENDS THAT SHAREHOLDERS VOTE “FOR” ALL OF THE PROPOSED DIRECTOR NOMINEES.
Nominees for Election as Directors
Set forth below is information for each nominee concerning the individual’s age, principal occupation, employment and directorships during the past five years, positions with the Company, the year in which he or she first joined the Board, and his or her term of office as a director. Also set forth below is a brief discussion of the specific experience, qualifications, attributes, or skills that led to the Board’s conclusion that, in light of our business and structure, each nominee should serve as a director.
 
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Name, Tenure, and Age
Business Experience During Past Five Years and Other Affiliations
Randal Kirk
Executive Chairman of the Board
Director since 2008
Age 69
Mr. Kirk has served as Executive Chairman of the Board since January 2020 and previously served as Chairman of the Board from February 2008 until December 31, 2019 and as our CEO from April 2009 until December 31, 2019. Mr. Kirk provides a wealth of strategic, operational, and management experience. Mr. Kirk currently serves as Chairman and Senior Managing Director of Third Security, LLC, an investment management firm founded by Mr. Kirk in March 1999. Additionally, Mr. Kirk founded and became Chairman of the Board of New River Pharmaceuticals Inc. (a biopharmaceutical company previously traded on Nasdaq prior to its acquisition by Shire plc in 2007) in 1996, and was President and CEO between October 2001 and April 2007.
Since May 2015, Mr. Kirk has served as a member of the board of directors of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. Previously, Mr. Kirk served as a member of the board of directors of Scios, Inc. (previously traded on Nasdaq prior to its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson) between February 2000 and May 2002, as a member of the board of directors of Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: HALO), a clinical-stage biotechnology company, from May 2007 to May 2018, as a member of the board of directors of ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZIOP), a biotechnology company, from January 2011 to October 2018, and as a member of the board of directors of Clinical Data, Inc. (previously traded on Nasdaq prior to its acquisition by Forest Laboratories, Inc. in April 2011) from September 2002 to April 2011, and was Chairman of the board of directors from December 2004 to April 2011.
Mr. Kirk served on the board of visitors of Radford University from July 2003 to June 2009, was Rector of the board of directors from September 2006 to September 2008 and served on the board of directors of the Radford University Foundation, Inc. from September 1998 to May 2011. He served on the board of visitors of the University of Virginia and Affiliated Schools from July 2009 to October 2012, on the Virginia Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates from July 2006 to October 2012 and on the Governor’s Economic Development and Jobs Creation Commission from April 2010 to October 2012. Mr. Kirk received a B.A. in Business from Radford University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia.
We believe that Mr. Kirk’s business experience, including his extensive business experience as CEO of multiple companies, his experience as an investor, his service on committees of academic institutions and other public company boards, combined with his business acumen and judgment, provides the Board with valuable strategic and operational expertise and leadership skills.
Cesar Alvarez
Director since 2008
Chair of Nominating and Governance Committee
Age 75
Mr. Alvarez has served as a Board member since 2008. Mr. Alvarez has been the Senior Chairman of the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig, LLP since 2012. He previously served as the law firm’s Executive Chairman, and as its Chief Executive Officer from 1997 to 2012. During his tenure as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman, Mr. Alvarez led the firm to become one of the top ten law firms in the United States by leading its growth from 325 lawyers in eight offices to approximately 1,850 attorneys and government professionals in more than 36 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Mr. Alvarez also serves as Vice-Chairman of the board of directors of Watsco, Inc. (NYSE: WSO), a
 
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Name, Tenure, and Age
Business Experience During Past Five Years and Other Affiliations
distributor of air conditioning, heating and refrigeration equipment and related parts and supplies; and a director of The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE), a real estate development company. Mr. Alvarez served on the board of directors of Fairholme Funds, Inc., a family of publicly traded focused investment funds from May 2008 to February 2020 and Sears Holding Corporation, a retail company, from January 2013 to May 2017. Mr. Alvarez served on the board of directors of Mednax, Inc. (NYSE: MD), a provider of physician services, including newborn, maternal fetal, pediatric subspecialties, and anesthesia care from March 1997 to July 2020. Mr. Alvarez holds a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Business Administration, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Florida.
We believe Mr. Alvarez’s qualifications to serve on the Board include his experience as Chief Executive Officer, Executive Chairman, and Senior Chairman of one of the nation’s largest law firms with approximately $2 billion in revenues with 2,200 law professionals providing services in 42 locations across the country and abroad, as well as his many years of corporate experience, both advising clients in the fields of corporate and securities and serving on the boards of directors of publicly traded and private companies.
Steven Frank
Director since 2008
Age 63
Mr. Frank has served as a Board member since February 2008. Mr. Frank has served as a Director of EXUMA Biotechnology Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company, since June 2020. Mr. Frank joined J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, an investment bank, in June 2008 and currently serves as Chairman of Global Healthcare Investment Banking. Mr. Frank had previously been the head of Bear Stearns’ Worldwide Health Care Investment Banking group in New York for 16 years and has provided general investment banking services to all types of healthcare companies. Specifically, Mr. Frank has led or played major roles in hundreds of mergers and acquisitions and financing transactions across the spectrum of deal structures. He has specialized in transactions involving pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies. Prior to joining Bear Stearns in 1993, Mr. Frank served for over ten years as an institutional investor, primarily at State Farm Insurance Company, where he focused on a multibillion-dollar life-sciences portfolio. Mr. Frank holds a B.S. from Illinois State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Mr. Frank also has been on the Executive Board of Frost Museum of Science since June 2020.
We believe Mr. Frank’s extensive knowledge of our industry and of finance and capital structure strengthen the Board’s collective qualifications, skills, and experience.
Vinita Gupta
Director since 2017
Member of Nominating and Governance Committee
Age 55
Ms. Gupta has served as a Board member since April 2017. Since September 2012, Ms. Gupta has served as the chief executive officer of Lupin Limited (“Lupin”). Lupin, headquartered in Mumbai, India, is an innovation led global pharmaceutical company developing and delivering a wide range of branded and generic formulations, biotechnology products and APIs. Ms. Gupta has served as a director of Lupin since 2001 and serves on its Risk Management Committee. In addition, Ms. Gupta has served as the Chief Executive Officer and chairperson of Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the U.S. wholly owned subsidiary of Lupin, since 2003. Ms. Gupta served as director on the board of Lupin’s Japanese
 
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Name, Tenure, and Age
Business Experience During Past Five Years and Other Affiliations
subsidiary Kyowa Pharmaceuticals from 2007 until the sale of that business in 2019. Ms. Gupta has held various positions at Lupin since joining the company in 1993. In 2017, Ms. Gupta also became a member of the Global Advisory Board at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Ms. Gupta was named 2015 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and won the 2016 Forbes India Leadership Awards — Entrepreneur of the Year. Ms. Gupta is regularly named in Forbes Asia Top 50 Power Business women listings for Asia Pacific. Ms. Gupta graduated from the University of Mumbai with a degree in pharmacy and received her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
We believe Ms. Gupta’s qualifications to serve on our board of directors include her strong leadership and management experience within the pharmaceutical industry, including serving as the chief executive officer of a global pharmaceutical corporation and her significant knowledge of operations, strategy, government relations, regulatory, finance and investments and mergers and acquisitions, including the fact that she was not only responsible for setting up Lupin’s business in the U.S. and Europe but was instrumental in formulating and executing strategies that have helped Lupin emerge as a global pharmaceutical corporation.
Fred Hassan
Director since 2016
Member of Compensation and Human Capital Management Committee
Age 77
Mr. Hassan has served as a Board member since June 2016. Mr. Hassan joined Warburg Pincus LLC, a global private equity investment institution, in 2010 and currently serves as Director. Previously, Mr. Hassan served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Schering-Plough from 2003 to 2009. Before assuming these roles, from 2001 to 2003, Mr. Hassan was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pharmacia Corporation, a company formed as a result of the merger of Monsanto Company and Pharmacia & Upjohn, Inc. He joined Pharmacia & Upjohn, Inc. as Chief Executive Officer in 1997. Mr. Hassan previously held leadership positions with Wyeth serving as Executive Vice President, and was a member of the board from 1995 to 1997. Earlier in his career, he spent a significant tenure with Sandoz Pharmaceuticals and headed the company’s U.S. pharmaceuticals business.
Mr. Hassan has been a director of BridgeBio Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: BBIO) since August 2021 and a director of Prometheus Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: RXDX) since May 2021. Mr. Hassan served as a director of Time Warner Inc. from October 2009 to June 2018 and a director of Amgen, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) since July 2015. In the course of his career, he has held numerous directorships, including those at Avon Products, Inc. from 1999 to 2013, Bausch & Lomb from 2010 until its acquisition by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (NYSE: VRX) (“Valeant”) in 2013, and Valeant from 2013 to 2014.
Mr. Hassan has chaired notable pharmaceutical industry organizations including The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA). Mr. Hassan received a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the Imperial College of Science and Technology at the University of London and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
 
19

 
Name, Tenure, and Age
Business Experience During Past Five Years and Other Affiliations
We believe Mr. Hassan’s qualifications to serve on the Board include his strong leadership and management experience within our industry, including significant knowledge of operations, strategy, government relations, regulatory, finance and investments, and mergers and acquisitions
Jeffrey Kindler
Director since 2011
Chair of Audit Committee
Member of Compensation and Human Capital Management Committee
Age 67
Mr. Kindler has served as a Board member since November 2011. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Centrexion Therapeutics, a privately held clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, since October 2013; an Operating Partner at Artis Ventures, a leading venture capital firm, since April 2020; and a Senior Advisor at Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms, since August 2020. Mr. Kindler was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE), a pharmaceutical company, from 2006 until his retirement in December 2010. He joined Pfizer in 2002 as Executive Vice President and General Counsel and assumed positions of increasing responsibility until being named Chief Executive Officer in 2006.
In addition to serving on Precigen’s Board, Mr. Kindler currently serves on the boards of Terns Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: TERN), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, and Perrigo Company plc (NYSE; TASE: PRGO), a healthcare company. Mr. Kindler previously served on the board of vTv Therapeutics Inc., a publicly-traded biotechnology company, from July 2015 to December 2020, PPD, Inc. from March 2012 until its acquisition by Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. in December 2021, and SIGA Technologies, Inc., a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company, from March 2013 to June 2020. Mr. Kindler received a B.A. from Tufts University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
We believe Mr. Kindler brings leadership, extensive business, operating, legal and policy, and corporate strategy experience to the Board, along with tremendous knowledge of several of the industries in which we operate as well as the fundamentals of our business.
Dean Mitchell
Director since 2009
Member of Audit Committee
Age 67
Mr. Mitchell has served as a Board member since March 2009. In July 2013, Mr. Mitchell was appointed Executive Chairman and board member of Covis Pharma Holdings S.a.r.l., a private specialty pharmaceutical company, which was sold in March 2020 to Apollo Capital. In 2020, he joined the boards of Kinnate Biopharma Inc. (Nasdaq: KNTE) and Praxis Precision Medicines Inc. (Nasdaq: PRAX), in both cases as Chairman. Since 2012, he has served as a non-executive board member of ImmunoGen, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMGN), a public oncology company, and since July 2014 he has served as a board member of Theravance Biopharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: TBPH), a public specialty pharmaceutical company.
Previously, Mr. Mitchell served as Chairman of PaxVax Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from October 2016 to October 2018. Prior to that, he was President and Chief Executive Officer and a board member of Lux Biosciences, Inc., a privately held ophthalmology company, from July 2010 until June 2013. Prior to that, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Alpharma Inc., a global specialty pharmaceutical company, and also was appointed a member of its board of directors in July 2006. Alpharma Inc. was acquired by King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in December 2008, and Mr. Mitchell ceased to be an officer and a director of Alpharma Inc. in December 2008. Prior to this, he was President and Chief
 
20

 
Name, Tenure, and Age
Business Experience During Past Five Years and Other Affiliations
Executive Officer of Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc., a public company, from December 2004 until its acquisition by MGI Pharma Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company focused in oncology and acute care, in October 2005, and was a non-executive director of MGI Pharma Inc. until its acquisition by Eisai Co., Ltd. in January 2008. Mr. Mitchell was at Bristol-Myers Squibb, a public company, from 2001 until 2004 in several key leadership roles including President International, President U.S. Primary Care and Vice President, Strategy. He also spent 15 years at Glaxo SmithKline, a public company, and its predecessor companies, most recently as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Product Strategy from 1999 to 2001, and prior to that as Vice President and General Manager, Specialty Divisions, Strategic Planning and Business Development, from 1995 to 1999. Mr. Mitchell received an M.B.A. from City University Business School, in London, U.K., and a B.Sc. degree in biology from Coventry University, U.K.
We believe Mr. Mitchell brings to the Board extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry, specifically in the areas of management, business and corporate development, sales and marketing, and clinical development as well as his significant experience serving on boards of directors of companies in our industry.
Helen Sabzevari
Director since 2020
Age 61
Dr. Sabzevari has served as Board member since June 2020, as our President and Chief Executive Officer since January 2020, and as President of PGEN Therapeutics, Inc., our wholly owned subsidiary, since December 2017. Dr. Sabzevari also has served as a board member of Kinnate Biopharma Inc. (Nasdaq: KNTE) since June 2021. From July 2017 to December 2017, Dr. Sabzevari served as our Senior Vice President, Health Therapeutics as well as Head of Research and Development. Prior to joining the Company, from 2015 to 2017, Dr. Sabzevari co-founded and served as Chief Scientific Officer of Compass Therapeutics LLC, a fully integrated drug discovery and development company focused on manipulating the immune system to treat human disease. From 2008 to 2014, Dr. Sabzevari served as Senior Vice President of Immuno-Oncology as well as Global Head of Immunotherapy, Oncology, Global Research and Early Development at EMD Serono (a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany). From 1998 to 2008, Dr. Sabzevari led the Molecular Immunology Group at the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the US National Cancer Institute, where she was focused on design, development, and delivery of novel vaccines and immunotherapies for a range of human cancers. Dr. Sabzevari received her doctorate degree in cell and molecular immunology and completed her postdoctoral work at the department of immunology at the Scripps Research Institute, working on various immunotherapeutic modalities in the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases.
We believe Dr. Sabzevari brings to the Board expertise in research and development of immunotherapy-based therapeutics, experience translating novel treatments from preclinical stage into the clinic, and extensive leadership experience and knowledge of the industry.
 
21

 
Name, Tenure, and Age
Business Experience During Past Five Years and Other Affiliations
James Turley
Director since 2014
Lead Independent Director
Chair of Compensation and Human Capital Management Committee
Age 67
Mr. Turley has served as a Board member since April 2014. Mr. Turley also serves on the board of directors of Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), a leading global bank, Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE: EMR), a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets around the world, since July 2013, and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions to government and commercial customers worldwide, since April 2015. Mr. Turley previously served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ernst & Young LLP (“Ernst & Young”) from 2001 until his retirement in June 2013. From 1994 to 2001, Mr. Turley served as Regional Managing Partner of Ernst & Young.
Mr. Turley is also a board member of the Boy Scouts of America, a board member of Kohler Co. (a privately held company) since April 2016 and St. Louis Trust & Family Office (a privately-held company) since April 2019. He is also a board member of the MUNY Theatre of St. Louis and Forest Park Forever. Mr. Turley holds an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in accounting from Rice University.
We believe Mr. Turley’s extensive management experience as the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of one of the world’s largest accounting firms, his accounting and financial expertise, and his experience in serving on the boards of directors of publicly traded companies make him well qualified to serve on the Board. Having served as Chair and CEO of Ernst & Young, Mr. Turley developed significant expertise in the areas of compensation, litigation, corporate affairs, and corporate governance. Mr. Turley also possesses extensive knowledge and expertise in the areas of financial reporting, business, and risk management.
BOARD DIVERSITY MATRIX
The following matrix is provided in accordance with applicable Nasdaq listing requirements:
Board Diversity Matrix (as of April 25, 2023)
Total Number of Directors
10
Female
Male
Part I: Gender Identity:
Directors
2 8
Part II: Demographic Background:
Asian
1 1
Hispanic or Latinx
1
Middle Eastern
1
White
6
 
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DIRECTOR COMPENSATION
Non-Employee Director Compensation
The compensation of our non-employee directors is established by the Compensation Committee and the Board. This compensation is periodically reviewed by the Compensation Committee based on market practice information provided by our outside compensation consultant, to ensure continued alignment with company goals and shareholder interest. Under our non-employee director compensation policy adopted in December 2017, our non-employee directors received in 2022 the compensation set forth in the table below. We also reimburse our non-employee directors for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with attending Board and committee meetings.
Element of Compensation
Compensation Amount
Annual Retainer for Board Chair(1)
$100,000
Annual Retainer for Other Board Members(1)
$50,000
Committee Chair Additional Retainer(1)
$12,500
Committee Member Additional Retainer(1)
$6,500
Annual Equity Awards
Options with a value of $125,000(2)
RSUs with a value of $125,000(3)
Initial Appointment Equity Awards
Options with a value of $180,000(4)
RSUs with a value of $180,000(5)
(1)
Non-employee directors have the option to receive shares of common stock, valued at the fair market value at the time of issuance, in lieu of cash retainers. We do not issue, nor do we pay cash for, fractional shares. Annual retainer fees are payable in advance at the first regularly scheduled meeting of the Board for the calendar year.
(2)
All non-employee directors are entitled to an annual grant of options to purchase shares of common stock (with an exercise price equal to the fair market value on the date of grant), which are granted at the first regularly scheduled meeting of the Board for the calendar year and are fully vested at the time of grant.
(3)
All non-employee directors are entitled to an annual grant of restricted stock units (“RSUs”), which are granted at the first regularly scheduled meeting of the Board for the calendar year and vest in full on the one year anniversary of the date of the grant, subject to continued Board service.
(4)
Any newly appointed non-employee director receives, upon appointment, a one-time grant of options to purchase shares of common stock (with an exercise price equal to the fair market value on the date of grant), with one quarter of such options vesting each year on the anniversary of appointment to the Board, subject to continued Board service.
(5)
Any newly appointed non-employee director receives, upon appointment, a one-time grant of RSUs, which vest in full on the one year anniversary of appointment to the Board, subject to continued Board service.
 
23

 
DIRECTOR COMPENSATION TABLE FOR 2022
The following table discloses all compensation provided to the non-employee directors for the most recently completed fiscal year ended December 31, 2022:
Name(1)
Fees Earned or
Paid in Cash
(2)
($)
Stock
Awards
(3)(5)
($)
Option
Awards
(4)(5)
($)
Total
($)
Randal Kirk
99,999 250,000 250,000 599,999
Cesar Alvarez
62,497 125,000 125,000 312,497
Steven Frank
49,999 125,000 125,000 299,999
Vinita Gupta
56,499 125,000 125,000 306,499
Fred Hassan
56,499 125,000 125,000 306,499
Jeffrey Kindler
68,997 125,000 125,000 318,997
Dean Mitchell
56,499 125,000 125,000 306,499
Robert Shapiro
62,998 125,000 125,000 312,998
James Turley
62,497 125,000 125,000 312,497
(1)
Dr. Sabzevari, our CEO, is a named executive officer and therefore the compensation she received is shown in the Summary Compensation Table and not included in this table. Dr. Sabzevari is an employee of the Company and receives no compensation for her service as a director.
Mr. Kirk, our Executive Chairman, is a non-employee member of the Board.
(2)
Our directors may elect to receive any portion of their annual retainer fees in shares of our common stock instead of cash. During 2022, each of our directors elected to receive all annual retainer fees in shares of our common stock. The following table provides the number of shares of our common stock received in lieu of the cash retainer by each non-employee director for 2022:
Name
Shares of
Common
Stock
Received
(#)
Randal Kirk
12,970
Cesar Alvarez
8,106
Steven Frank
6,485
Vinita Gupta
7,328
Fred Hassan
7,328
Jeffrey Kindler
8,949
Dean Mitchell
7,328
Robert Shapiro
8,171
James Turley
8,106
(3)
Represents the aggregate grant date fair market value of the annual grant of RSUs, computed in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718 (“ASC Topic 718”).
(4)
Represents the aggregate grant date fair market value of the annual grant of stock options, computed in accordance with ASC Topic 718, based on the closing price of our common stock on the date of grant. For a full description of the assumptions we use in computing this amount, see Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2022, which is included in our 2022 Annual Report.
 
24

 
(5)
The following table provides information regarding the aggregate outstanding equity awards held by each non-employee director as of December 31, 2022:
Name
RSUs
Outstanding
(#)
Stock Options
Outstanding
(#)
Randal Kirk
126,595 285,248
Cesar Alvarez
61,576 322,521
Steven Frank
61,576 322,521
Vinita Gupta
61,576 313,316
Fred Hassan
61,576 328,536
Jeffrey Kindler
61,576 322,520
Dean Mitchell
61,576 322,521
Robert Shapiro
61,576 322,520
James Turley
61,576 361,122
Equity Ownership Guidelines for Board of Directors
The Board believes that directors should hold meaningful equity ownership positions in the Company to help align the interests of directors with those of shareholders. Under our stock ownership guidelines for directors, non-employee directors are expected to be beneficial owners of shares of our common stock with a market value equivalent to at least five times the amount of annual cash retainer fees (not including any additional retainer for service as Lead Independent Director or a Committee Chair, and as adjusted from time to time). Non-employee directors have five years to satisfy the ownership requirement, which is measured from the later of June 2018 (when the current requirement was adopted) or the date of appointment for newly appointed non-employee directors. Compliance with the requirement is measured on an annual basis each year using the closing price of our common stock as of December 31st. As of December 31, 2022, each of our non-employee directors was either in satisfaction of the ownership requirement, or on track to satisfy the ownership requirement within the five-year period.
For purposes of the equity ownership guidelines described above, a non-employee director’s shareholdings include, in addition to shares held outright, any stock underlying vested but unexercised stock options assuming the stock options have been “net exercised.” Stock underlying RSUs or other equity awards that remain unvested will not count towards the requirement, regardless of whether the award is time- or performance-based.
Until a non-employee director has met our equity ownership guidelines, he or she is expected to hold 100% of any stock acquired through exercise of a stock option or vesting and settlement of restricted stock units, net of shares sold to cover the cost of acquisition and any applicable tax obligation. In addition, non-employee directors must further hold all net shares for a minimum of one year following exercise, in the case of stock options, or vesting, in the case of RSUs or other equity awards.
 
25

 
PROPOSAL 2
RATIFICATION OF APPOINTMENT OF INDEPENDENT
REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
Background
After consideration of the firm’s qualifications and past performance, the Board, through the Audit Committee, has appointed Deloitte & Touche LLP (“Deloitte”) as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023.
Deloitte was initially engaged as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019. The Audit Committee has again selected Deloitte as our independent registered accounting firm for the year ending December 31, 2023 and believes that the retention of Deloitte for the 2023 fiscal year is in the best interest of us and our shareholders.
Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the rules of the SEC promulgated thereunder, the Audit Committee is solely responsible for the selection, appointment, compensation, and oversight of the work of our independent registered public accounting firm. Although submission of the appointment of an independent registered public accounting firm to shareholders for ratification is not required by law, the Board considers the appointment of our independent registered public accounting firm to be an important matter of shareholder concern and is submitting the appointment of Deloitte for ratification by our shareholders, as a matter of good corporate practice. One or more representatives of Deloitte are expected to be present at the Annual Meeting with the opportunity to make a statement if they so desire and to be available to respond to appropriate questions.
Although ratification is not required by applicable laws, our bylaws or otherwise, the Board is submitting the selection of Deloitte to our stockholders for ratification because we value your views on our independent registered public accounting firm. The Audit Committee intends to carefully consider the results of the vote. If the stockholders do not ratify the appointment of Deloitte, the Audit Committee will reconsider Deloitte’s selection. Even if the selection is ratified, the Audit Committee, in its discretion, may select a different independent registered public accounting firm at any time during the year if the committee determines that such a change would be in the best interests of the Company and our stockholders.
Required Vote and Board Recommendation
The affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast on the matter is required for the approval of this item. As this proposal is considered a “routine item,” your bank, broker, or other nominee may vote your shares “for” the proposal without receiving your voting instructions. Abstentions will not count either in favor of or against the proposal.
THE BOARD UNANIMOUSLY RECOMMENDS THAT SHAREHOLDERS VOTE “FOR” THE
RATIFICATION OF THE APPOINTMENT OF DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP.
 
26

 
INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
Principal Accountant Fees
The following table summarizes the aggregate fees billed by Deloitte for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 and, for comparison purposes, the aggregate fees billed by Deloitte for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. The Audit Committee approved all of the services described below.
Fiscal Year Ended
December 31,
2022
2021
Audit Fees
$ 1,380,000 $ 1,731,700
Audit-Related Fees
185,000
Tax Fees
155,915 234,084
All Other Fees
Total Fees
$ 1,748,615 $ 1,965,784
Audit Fees
Audit fees include professional services rendered by our independent auditors for the audit of our annual financial statements, including the reviews of the financial statements included in our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. This category also includes fees for assistance with complex accounting transactions, fees for audits provided in connection with subsidiaries and statutory filings or services that generally only the principal auditor can reasonably provide to a client, and consents and assistance with and review of documents filed with the SEC.
Audit-Related Fees
Audit-related fees consist of, among other things, provision of consents and comfort letters.
Tax Fees
Tax fees include original and amended tax returns, studies supporting tax return amounts as may be required by Internal Revenue Service regulations, claims for refunds, assistance with tax audits and other work directly affecting or supporting the payment of taxes, planning, research, and advice supporting our efforts to maximize the tax efficiency of our operations.
All Other Fees
All other fees are fees for products or services other than those in the above three categories. In fiscal years 2022 and 2021, our independent auditors did not provide any services other than those described above.
Pre-Approval Policy
The Audit Committee has adopted a written policy for the provision of audit services and permitted non-audit services by our independent registered public accounting firm. Our Chief Financial Officer has primary responsibility to the Audit Committee for administration and enforcement of this policy and for reporting non-compliance. Under the policy, the Audit Committee receives a presentation of an annual plan for audit services and for any proposed audit-related, tax, or other non-audit services to be performed by the independent registered public accounting firm, but management may, from time to time, seek approval of certain additional audit or non-audit services not provided for in the budget. Rule 2-01 of Regulation S-X provides an exception to the requirement for pre-approval of non-audit services for de minimis amounts under certain circumstances. Our policy does not include the de minimis exception, and during fiscal years 2022 and 2021, no non-audit services were performed pursuant to the de minimis exception.
 
27

 
AUDIT COMMITTEE REPORT
In accordance with the Audit Committee Charter, the Audit Committee assists the Board in fulfilling its responsibility for oversight of the integrity of our accounting, auditing, and financial reporting practices. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, the Audit Committee met 4 times.
The Audit Committee reviewed and discussed our audited financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2022 with management and Deloitte. Management has the responsibility for the preparation of our financial statements and Deloitte has the responsibility for the audit of those statements. Based on the above-mentioned review and discussions with management and Deloitte, the Audit Committee recommended to the Board that our audited financial statements be included in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, for filing with the SEC.
In addition, the Audit Committee reviewed and discussed the interim financial information contained in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q with our Chief Executive Officer, our Chief Financial Officer, our Chief Legal Officer, and the independent registered public accounting firm prior to public release.
In discharging its oversight responsibility as to the audit process, the Audit Committee has received the written disclosures and the letter from Deloitte required under the applicable requirements of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) regarding Deloitte’s communications with the Audit Committee concerning independence, and has discussed with our independent registered public accounting firm its independence. The Audit Committee also discussed with management the quality and adequacy of our internal controls. The Audit Committee reviewed with Deloitte their audit plans, audit scope, and identification of audit risks.
The Audit Committee members are not professional accountants or auditors, and their functions are not intended to duplicate or to certify the activities of management or our independent registered public accounting firm. The Audit Committee oversees our financial reporting process on behalf of the Board. Our management has primary responsibility for the financial statements and reporting process, including our internal control over financial reporting. Deloitte is responsible for performing an integrated audit of our financial statements and internal control over financial reporting in accordance with the auditing standards of the PCAOB.
The Audit Committee reviewed and discussed with Deloitte the matters required to be discussed by the applicable requirements of the PCAOB and the SEC, and, with and without management present, discussed and reviewed the results of Deloitte’s audit of the financial statements. The Audit Committee also considered, as it determined appropriate, tax matters, and other areas of financial reporting and the audit process over which the Audit Committee has oversight.
In connection with the evaluation, appointment, and retention of the independent registered public accounting firm, the Audit Committee annually reviews the qualifications, performance, and independence of the independent registered public accounting firm, and lead engagement partner, and assures the regular rotation of the lead engagement partner as required. In doing so, the Audit Committee considers a number of factors including, but not limited to: quality of services provided; technical expertise and knowledge of the industry; effective communication; and objectivity. The Audit Committee also considers whether the non-audit services provided by Deloitte are compatible with maintaining Deloitte’s independence. The Audit Committee reappointed Deloitte, subject to shareholder ratification, as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023.
The Audit Committee
Jeffrey Kindler, Chair
Dean Mitchell
Robert Shapiro
 
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PROPOSAL 3
NON-BINDING PROPOSAL TO APPROVE THE COMPENSATION OF THE
NAMED EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
General
The Board has determined to provide our shareholders the opportunity to vote each year to approve, on an advisory basis, the compensation of our named executive officers, as disclosed in this Proxy Statement. The compensation of our named executive officers is described in the Compensation Discussion and Analysis, the compensation tables and the accompanying narratives herein.
The Compensation Committee designs our executive compensation program to attract, motivate, and retain executive officers who are critical to our success. Under these programs, our named executive officers are rewarded for the achievement of our near-term and longer-term financial and strategic goals and for driving corporate financial performance and stability. The programs contain elements of cash and equity-based compensation and are designed to align the interests of our executives with those of our shareholders.
Our compensation program reflects competition and reasonable practices in the marketplace. The mix of compensation components is competitive with that of other companies of similar size and operational characteristics, links compensation to individual and corporate performance and encourages stock ownership by senior management. The Compensation Committee continues to review, with the assistance of its independent compensation consultant, our executive compensation program with a focus on continued alignment with market practice and tying executive pay to long-term shareholder value creation. Based on its review of the total compensation of our named executive officers for 2022, the Compensation Committee believes that the total compensation for each of the named executive officers is reasonable and effectively achieves the objective of aligning compensation with the achievement of our financial goals and creation of shareholder value without encouraging our named executive officers to take unnecessary or excessive risks.
The Compensation Discussion and Analysis section of this Proxy Statement and the accompanying tables and narrative provide a comprehensive review of our named executive officer compensation objectives, program, and rationale. We urge you to read this disclosure before voting on this proposal.
Pursuant to Section 14A of the Exchange Act, the Board is requesting shareholders approve an advisory vote on the following resolution:
“RESOLVED, that our shareholders approve, on a non-binding advisory basis, the compensation of the named executive officers as disclosed in the Proxy Statement for the 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders pursuant to the compensation disclosure rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Compensation Discussion and Analysis, the Summary Compensation Table, the other related tables and the accompanying narrative.”
As an advisory vote, your vote on this proposal will be non-binding on the Board. However, the Board values the opinions that our shareholders express in their votes and will consider the outcome of the vote when making future executive compensation decisions as it deems appropriate.
We seek shareholder approval of our executive compensation on an annual basis. The next opportunity for our shareholders to approve on a non-binding basis the compensation of our named executive officers will be at our 2024 Annual Meeting.
Vote Required and Board Recommendation
The affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast on the matter is required for the approval of this item. As this proposal is not considered a “routine item,” your bank, broker, or other nominee cannot vote your shares without receiving your voting instructions. Abstentions and broker non-votes will not count either in favor of or against the proposal.
THE BOARD UNANIMOUSLY RECOMMENDS THAT SHAREHOLDERS VOTE TO APPROVE
THE NON-BINDING ADVISORY PROPOSAL APPROVING THE COMPENSATION OF OUR
NAMED EXECUTIVE OFFICERS.
 
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IDENTIFICATION OF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
Set forth below is information regarding the position, age, and business experience of each of our executive officers.
Helen Sabzevari, Ph.D., age 61, Chief Executive Officer.   For more information about Dr. Sabzevari, please see her biography under “Nominees for Election as Directors.”
Harry Thomasian Jr., age 61, Chief Financial Officer.   Mr. Thomasian has served as our Chief Financial Officer since October 2021. Mr. Thomasian has over 35 years of international business experience in the areas of accounting, corporate financings and advisory services. Prior to joining Precigen, he was with Ernst & Young LLP (“EY”), one of the world’s largest global professional services firms, since 1986. Mr. Thomasian most recently served as a senior client service partner, the Baltimore office Growth Markets Leader and was the co-leader for the Firm’s life sciences practice for the Chesapeake Region. He was previously a senior partner in EY’s Capital Markets Center in Tokyo, Japan, and has held various other global, regional and local leadership positions with EY. In addition, Mr. Thomasian has significant experience as a member of Boards of Directors (including chairing various committees) for a number of not-for-profit institutions. Mr. Thomasian earned a B.S. in accountancy from Bentley University. He also completed EY’s executive education program in strategic leadership at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School. Mr. Thomasian is a Certified Public Accountant.
Donald P. Lehr, age 48, Chief Legal Officer.   Mr. Lehr has served as our Chief Legal Officer since 2011. From 2009 to 2011 he served as our Associate General Counsel. Mr. Lehr has broad experience in the areas of corporate, securities, and general business law. Prior to joining us, he practiced law with the law firm of Hogan Lovells US LLP (formerly Hogan & Hartson, LLP) in Baltimore, Maryland from 2002 to 2009. While at Hogan Lovells, his practice included the representation of privately and publicly held corporations across many industries, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, software, technology, and manufacturing. Prior to his time at Hogan Lovells, Mr. Lehr served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Irma S. Raker of the Court of Appeals of Maryland. Mr. Lehr received a B.A. from Swarthmore College and received a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.
Jeffrey Perez, age 51, Senior Vice President, Intellectual Property Affairs.   Mr. Perez has served as our Senior Vice President, Intellectual Property Affairs since August 2014. Until April 20, 2020 Mr. Perez served as a member of the board of directors of AquaBounty Technologies Inc., a public biotechnology company (Nasdaq: AQB) that was our majority-owned subsidiary until October 2019. Before joining Precigen, Mr. Perez was Managing Director and Associate General Counsel and Intellectual Property at Third Security, LLC, where he evaluated potential investments of Third Security’s managed investment funds. Additionally, Mr. Perez worked with Third Security portfolio companies in evaluating and developing their intellectual property strategies and general corporate activities. Prior to joining Third Security, Mr. Perez practiced intellectual property law with the law firm of Hunton & Williams LLP in Washington D.C. Mr. Perez’s previous work involved client consultation, litigation, agreement work, opinion drafting, and patent procurement. Mr. Perez received a B.S. from Cornell University and his J.D. from George Mason University School of Law.
Rutul R. Shah, age 42, Chief Operating Officer.   Mr. Shah has served as our Chief Operating Officer since October 1, 2022. From February 16, 2020 to October 1, 2022 Mr. Shah served as our Vice President & Head of Operations. From April 1, 2016 through February 15, 2020 Mr. Shah served as our Senior Director of Operations. From September 4, 2014 through March 31, 2016, Mr. Shah served as a Program Leader in our Human Therapeutics Division. Mr. Shah has broad experience in alliance management, portfolio management, program and project management and operations. Mr. Shah graduated with a BE degree in Chemical Engineering from Gujarat University in India and MS degree in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois, Chicago.
 
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COMPENSATION DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
The Compensation Committee oversees our executive compensation programs. In this role, the Compensation Committee reviews and approves all compensation decisions relating to our named executive officers, or NEOs. To assist with its duties, the Compensation Committee has engaged an independent compensation consultant to provide competitive compensation data and assist with the analysis and implementation of various aspects of our executive compensation decisions. See “— The Compensation Review Process” below for a discussion of the role of the compensation consultants engaged by the Compensation Committee in 2022.
This section discusses the principles underlying our executive compensation programs, policies, and decisions and explains the process the Compensation Committee uses to determine compensation and benefits for our named executive officers. It also provides qualitative information regarding the manner and context in which compensation is earned by and awarded to our named executive officers and is intended to place in perspective the data presented in the tables and narrative that follow.
The discussion and analysis of our compensation program for our named executive officers should be read in conjunction with the tables and text elsewhere in this Proxy Statement that describe the compensation awarded to, earned by or paid to our named executive officers.
The individuals who served as our principal executive officer and principal financial officer during 2022, as well as the other individuals included in the Summary Compensation Table, are referred to throughout this Proxy Statement as the “named executive officers” and, to the extent they remain employed by us, together with the other executives of management, as the “executive officers.”
Accordingly, our named executive officers for 2022 are:
Name
Position
Helen Sabzevari, Ph.D. President and Chief Executive Officer
Harry Thomasian Jr. Chief Financial Officer
Donald P. Lehr Chief Legal Officer
Jeffrey Perez
Senior Vice President, Intellectual Property Affairs
Rutul R. Shah(1) Chief Operating Officer
(1)
Mr. Shah was appointed as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer effective as of October 1, 2022.
Executive Summary
Our goal for our executive compensation is to provide a comprehensive package that is sufficient to attract, motivate, and retain executives of outstanding ability, performance, and potential. The Compensation Committee seeks to establish and maintain an appropriate relationship between executive compensation and the creation of shareholder value. The Compensation Committee believes that the most effective compensation program is one that provides competitive base pay, rewards the achievement of established annual and long-term goals and objectives, and provides incentives for retention.
The Compensation Committee assists the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities with respect to the compensation of our executive officers. The Compensation Committee is responsible for:

establishing and administering the base salaries and annual incentive awards of our executive officers, and

administering and making recommendations and awards under our equity incentive plans.
The Compensation Committee regularly reviews the compensation paid to our executive officers to ensure it is fair, reasonable, and competitive and is substantially tied to our performance. The Compensation Committee evaluates, both subjectively and objectively, our financial performance, competitive position, future potential, and the individual and group performance of the members of executive management. In such evaluation, the Compensation Committee reviews data prepared by management and employs the
 
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business experience of the individual members of the Compensation Committee. The Compensation Committee also utilizes the assistance of an independent compensation consultant, as described below under “— The Compensation Review Process.”
2022 was another transformational year for the Company. We made significant clinical progress across our principal pipeline, including UltraCAR-T and AdenoVerse; we completed the sale of a non-healthcare business, Trans Ova Genetics and implemented additional organizational steps to continue the Company’s focus as a healthcare company; and we strengthened the Company’s balance sheet through the early retirement of a portion of our convertible notes. For 2022, after taking into account the overall position of the Company and with a focus on retention and cash preservation, the Compensation Committee, with the assistance of its independent compensation consultant in assessing the competitive market and evaluating current executive pay practices, made adjustments to the existing base salaries for certain of our executive officers and made annual short-term incentive awards, consisting of a mixture of cash and equity, based on the Company’s performance. In addition, we awarded long-term incentive awards to our executive officers in the form of stock options to promote retention, increase long-term equity ownership and align executive and long-term shareholder interests by linking a portion of their compensation to changes in the Company’s stock price.
Key Compensation Corporate Governance Practices
The Compensation Committee and the Board regularly review evolving practices in executive compensation and corporate governance. We have adopted certain policies and practices that we believe are consistent with industry best practices, as tailored to our specific business model and strategic direction. We have also strived to adopt policies that will foster our growth and the continual realization of value to our shareholders by encouraging appropriate risk taking and entrepreneurship in support of our unique and dynamic business model. The Compensation Committee and the Board also actively scrutinize the anticipated effect of compensation practices on our ultimate goals.
What We Do:

The Compensation Committee has 100% independent directors.

We conduct an annual review and assessment of potential and existing risks arising from our compensation programs and policies.

The Compensation Committee engages an independent compensation consultant to advise on executive and director compensation matters.

We tie our annual cash bonus opportunities to corporate objectives.

We use equity awards that vest over time and deliver greater value as our stock price increases.

We maintain stock ownership guidelines for our non-employee directors.
What We Do Not Do:

We do not allow hedging of Company stock.

We do not provide excessive perquisites.

We do not provide for tax gross-ups, except for de minimis amounts related to short-term and long-term disability insurance premiums.

We do not allow repricing of stock options without shareholder approval.

We do not offer guaranteed bonuses.
Our Compensation Philosophy
Our compensation philosophy is guided by the principle of pay-for-performance. Our compensation programs are designed to support our business goals by rewarding achievement of short-term and progress towards long-term objectives in a manner that links compensation of our executive officers with the value
 
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created for our shareholders. While aligning our executive officers’ compensation with our short-term and long-term business goals, we aim to provide the incentives needed to attract, motivate, reward, and retain our management talent, which is crucial to our long-term success.
Principles of Our Compensation Framework
Our executive compensation program is designed to attract, retain, motivate, and reward talented individuals who will execute our business plan so that we can succeed in the competitive and highly volatile business environment in which we operate. The Compensation Committee believes that the compensation program for our executive officers should reward the achievement of our short-term and long-term objectives and that compensation should be related to the value created for our shareholders. Furthermore, the compensation program should reflect competition and best practices in the marketplace. The following objectives serve as the Compensation Committee’s guiding principles for all compensation decisions:

Our executive compensation and benefits should attract, motivate, reward, and retain the management talent necessary to achieve our business objectives at compensation levels that are fair, equitable, and competitive with those of comparable companies.

Compensation should be set based on the leadership of each executive officer, which reflects skill sets, experience, and achievement, to create a competitive framework for talent acquisition and retention.

Compensation should be linked to individual and corporate performance by aligning our executive compensation program to company-wide performance, which is assessed in terms of financial and non-financial performance and creation of long-term value for our shareholders.

There should be an appropriate mix and weighting compensation elements such that an adequate amount of each executive officer’s total compensation is performance-based or “at risk.” Further, as an executive’s responsibilities increase, the portion of “at-risk” compensation for the executive should also increase as a percentage of total compensation.
In addition, the Compensation Committee believes that the various elements of our compensation program effectively align compensation with performance measures that are directly related to our financial goals and creation of shareholder value without encouraging executives to take unnecessary and excessive risks.
Developments in Executive Compensation for 2022
We review our executive compensation practices annually to ensure that our plans and practices are supportive of our goals, remain competitive, and are in keeping with the best interests of our shareholders. In 2022, the Company continued a strategic process through which it focused its operations on its healthcare programs. As part of this process, the Board appointed Mr. Rutul R. Shah to serve as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer, effective as of October 1, 2022. Mr. Shah provides broad leadership experience and expertise in alliance management, portfolio management, program and project management and the Company’s operations. As more fully described below, Mr. Shah received an annual salary increase to $410,000 in connection with his appointment.
In addition, the Compensation Committee continues to work closely with Aon Consulting (“Aon”), its independent compensation consultant, to implement enhancements to the Company’s compensation programs that further promote the Company’s pay for performance philosophy and drive long-term shareholder value creation.
Elements of Our Compensation Program
The Compensation Committee utilizes a mix of compensation components, with the intent to make each component of total direct compensation competitive while also linking compensation to individual and corporate performance and encouraging stock ownership by our executive officers. The table below describes each compensatory element in our program and briefly explains how it promotes our objectives. We believe the combination of these elements provides an appropriate balance of rewards, incentives, and
 
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benefits to our executives and enables us to meet our desired compensation objectives, strengthen our ability to attract and retain highly qualified individuals, and to appropriately link pay to performance.
Element of Compensation
Description
How This Element
Promotes Our Objectives
Annual Compensation
Base Salary Fixed annual compensation that is certain in payment and provides continuous income. Aids in both recruitment and retention; designed to be competitive in the marketplace.
Annual Short-Term Incentive Awards Performance-based compensation for achieving goals and objectives. Motivates and rewards achievement of annual corporate objectives by providing at-risk comprehensive pay opportunities linked to performance.
Long-Term Compensation
Long-Term Equity Incentive Awards Generally, grants of options and/or RSUs that are part of our long-term incentive program; time-based vesting, generally over four years. Promotes retention, increases long-term equity ownership, and aligns executive and long-term shareholder interests by linking a portion of their compensation to changes in company stock price.
Other Compensation
Post-Termination
Payments and Benefits
Contractual payments and benefits for certain executives upon termination of employment in specified circumstances, such as termination other than for cause or for good reason, as described in greater detail herein. Provides assurance of financial security, which is desirable in lateral recruiting and executive retention and permits objective evaluation by executives of potential changes to our strategy and structure.
Other Benefits Executives participate in employee benefit plans generally available to our employees. Fair and competitive programs to provide for the health and well-being of executives and their families.
We do not provide our executives with any meaningful perquisites that are not provided to employees generally. We also do not have any deferred compensation programs or retirement programs other than our 401(k) Plan that is generally available to all employees. We enroll all eligible employees in the same health, dental, and life and disability insurance programs.
Base Salary
General
Base salary levels for our executive officers, with the exception of our CEO, are recommended to the Compensation Committee by our CEO and are subject to approval by the Compensation Committee and the Board. In setting the base salary level for each executive officer (other than our CEO), the Compensation Committee generally considers the executive officer’s experience level, demonstrated capabilities, time and placement in position, our geographic region, individual performance, and potential future contributions to our Company. In addition, the Compensation Committee may consider executive compensation data for the industry as a whole, including data from similarly situated companies. Base salaries are reviewed annually by the Compensation Committee. When making decisions to adjust executive salaries, the Compensation Committee will also consider our overall financial performance in addition to the factors identified above. No particular weight is assigned to any one factor. Taking into account the overall position of the Company, the Compensation Committee determined not to make any changes to base salary for our named executive officers in 2022.
 
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The following table sets forth the 2022 annualized base salaries for each of our NEOs. In connection with his appointment as the Chief Operating Officer, the Board approved an increase to Mr. Shah’s annual base salary to $410,000. No other changes were made to Mr. Shah’s compensation arrangements.
Name
2022 Base Salary
Dr. Helen Sabzevari
$ 1,000,000
Harry Thomasian Jr.
$ 475,000
Donald Lehr
$ 575,000
Jeffrey Perez
$ 500,000
Rutul R. Shah
$ 410,000
Annual Short-Term Incentive Awards
General
Our NEOs are eligible to receive annual bonuses based on corporate performance achievement, as determined by the Compensation Committee following the completion of the applicable performance year, and subject to the NEO’s continued employment through the applicable payment date. Each named executive officer is provided an annual target bonus opportunity that is set as a percentage of base salary, except that Dr. Sabzevari’s employment agreement provides for eligibility for an annual bonus of between 75% and 150% of Dr. Sabzevari’s annual base salary.
For 2022, the Compensation Committee established a bonus program for our named executive officers based on the achievement of a combination of primarily operational performance goals, which would promote the achievement of our key clinical, non-clinical, business development and other corporate objectives. The Compensation Committee established a target bonus for Dr. Sabzevari of 150% of base salary and for our other NEOs of 40% of base salary.
Following the end of the 2022 performance year, the Compensation Committee carefully reviewed the performance of the Company against each of the goals as part of the evaluation process for determining the annual bonus payouts for our named executive officers. In conducting the review, the Compensation Committee closely analyzed the achievement against each performance target, taking into account the specific objectives, quantitative metrics and qualitative factors associated with each goal.
The Compensation Committee discussed these accomplishments with Dr. Sabzevari and, subsequently, with members of the Board and the Compensation Committee’s independent compensation consultant, recommended to the Board the approval of a performance bonus in an aggregate amount equal to 72.5% of target, or 108.75% of Dr. Sabzevari’s base salary and 29% of base salary for our other NEOs. The Compensation Committee also approved the short-term incentive bonuses to be paid 25% in cash and 75% in RSUs based on the grant date fair market value of the Company’s shares, with the value of any partial shares paid in cash as reflected in the table below. The RSUs were granted on March 24, 2023, of which one-third of the RSUs vested immediately upon the grant date and the remaining RSUs will vest in four equal installments on each of August 2, 2023, August 9, 2023, August 16, 2023 and August 23, 2023.
Name
Annual Target
Bonus
(% of Base
Salary)
Total Value
of Target
Bonus
($)
Achievement
Percentage
of Target
(%)
Actual
Cash
Payment ($)
RSUs
Granted
(#)
Total Value
of Actual
Bonus
($)
Dr. Helen Sabzevari
150% $ 1,500,000 72.5% $ 271,875 849,519 $ 1,087,500
Harry Thomasian Jr.
40% $ 190,000 72.5% $ 34,437 8,109 $ 137,749
Donald P. Lehr
40% $ 230,000 72.5% $ 41,687 26,102 $ 166,748
Jeffrey Perez
40% $ 200,000 72.5% $ 36,250 22,697 $ 144,999
Rutul R. Shah
40% $ 164,000 72.5% $ 29,725 26,102 $ 118,899
The Compensation Committee also approved additional stock options grants to our NEOs in connection with its 2022 performance review. The Compensation Committee took into consideration the Company’s
 
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continued focus on cash preservation (thus utilizing RSUs as the form of payment for short-term incentive bonuses), the delayed vesting of a substantial portion of the annual bonus for each NEO and the need to provide continued leadership incentives, and determined that each of our NEOs should be awarded an additional bonus in the form of stock options, with a value equal to 25% of each named executive officer’s actual bonus amount for 2022. Accordingly, the following grants of stock options were made to each of Dr. Sabzevari, Messrs. Thomasian, Lehr, Perez and Shah on March 24, 2023. 100% of the stock options will vest one year after the grant date, subject to each NEO’s continued employment through such date.
Name
Additional Stock
Options Granted
(#)
Total Grant
Date Value
($)
Dr. Helen Sabzevari
369,596 $ 271,875
Harry Thomasian Jr.
46,815 $ 34,437
Donald Lehr
56,671 $ 41,687
Jeffrey Perez
49,279 $ 36,250
Rutul R. Shah
40,409 $ 29,725
Long-Term Equity Incentive Awards
Our primary objectives in granting long-term equity incentive awards are to encourage significant ownership of our common stock by management and to provide long-term financial incentives linked directly to our long-term performance. The Compensation Committee believes that significant ownership of our common stock by senior management helps to align the interests of management and the shareholders. After taking into account the overall position of the Company during the business transitions made during the year, the Compensation Committee made grants of long-term incentive awards to its executives for 2022 as noted below.
In early 2022, the Compensation Committee approved grants of stock options to Dr. Sabzevari and Messrs. Thomasian, Lehr and Perez, each of which vests in equal annual installments over four years from the grant date. In addition, Mr. Shah received a grant of stock options in early 2022 in his capacity as a non-executive employee of the Company, which vests in equal annual installments over four years from the grant date. Mr. Shah did not receive any additional grants in 2022 in connection with his appointment as an executive officer in October 2022.
Although we do not currently have a formal policy with respect to the grant of equity incentive awards to our executive officers, or any formal equity ownership guidelines applicable to them, we believe that equity grants provide our executives with a strong link to our long-term performance, create an ownership culture, and help to align the ownership interests of our executives and our shareholders. The Compensation Committee continues to work closely with its independent compensation consultant to review and evaluate the Company’s approach to long-term equity incentive compensation for its executive officers in a manner that promotes long-term shareholder interests. The Compensation Committee believes that broad and significant employee ownership of our common stock effectively motivates the building of shareholder wealth.
With the exception of significant promotions and new hires, equity grants, when awarded, have generally been awarded toward the beginning of the fiscal year. The Compensation Committee selects this timing because it enables us to consider our prior year performance and the participants’ and our expectations for the next performance period.
Other Benefits
The Compensation Committee believes employee benefits are an essential component of our competitive total compensation package. These benefits are designed to attract and retain our employees. The executive officers may participate in, and we make contributions on their behalf to, the same benefit plans that are provided to all of our eligible employees, which include medical, health and dental insurance, long-term disability insurance, accidental death and disability insurance, and our 401(k) Plan. As part of the 401(k) Plan, we generally match 100% of the first 3% of compensation contributed by the employee into the 401(k) Plan
 
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subject to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), and our 401(k) Plan limits. We have disclosed all company matches for our named executive officers in the column labeled “All Other Compensation,” in the Summary Compensation Table herein, and separately disclosed each amount in the All Other Compensation Table for 2022 herein.
The Compensation Review Process
Process for Approval of Compensation Measures
Management makes a recommendation to the Compensation Committee and the Board regarding key financial goals, operational goals, and performance measures that will guide us for the relevant fiscal year. The Compensation Committee, together with the Board, reviews these recommendations and modifies them as the Board deems appropriate and the revised goals and performance objectives become the compensation measures for the executive officers. For 2023, the Compensation Committee is committed to continually reviewing and refining the Company’s executive compensation programs, with a focus on ensuring alignment with the company’s overall strategy and shareholder interests and enhancing and promoting its pay for performance philosophy.
Role of the Compensation Committee and Management
Governance of our compensation program is the responsibility of the Compensation Committee, which consists solely of independent directors. At the direction of the Compensation Committee, our CEO prepares compensation recommendations regarding the compensation of each of our executive officers, other than for the CEO, and presents those recommendations to the Compensation Committee for approval. The Compensation Committee evaluates the overall performance of the executive officers based on our achievement of corporate performance objectives and goals. The Compensation Committee, with the advice of its independent compensation advisor, then reviews and takes into account all elements of executive compensation in setting policies and determining compensation amounts. The Compensation Committee does not delegate authority to its outside advisor or to other parties.
Role of Compensation Consultants
As discussed above, the Compensation Committee is authorized to retain experts, consultants, and other advisors to aid in the discharge of its duties.
Since June 2021, the Compensation Committee has engaged Aon as its independent compensation consultant to aid the Compensation Committee in its annual review of the Company’s executive compensation practices for continuing appropriateness and reasonableness and to make recommendations regarding executive officer compensation levels and structures. In reviewing the Company’s executive compensation practices, the Compensation Committee also considers other sources to evaluate external market, industry and peer-company practices. Aon has no other business relationship with us and receives no payments from us other than fees for services to the Compensation Committee.
In retaining Aon, the Compensation Committee separately considered the six factors set forth in Section 10C-1(b)(4)(i) through (vi) of the Exchange Act and the listing standards of Nasdaq, based on such consideration, determined that the engagement of Aon did not raise any conflicts of interest.
Use of Peer Group
In and prior to 2021, we did not undertake any formal peer group analysis of executive compensation or target compensation to specific benchmarks against any peer group companies because, due to the unique and rapidly evolving nature of our business, no practical robust cohort of peer companies was available to use as a formal peer group for our Company.
However, in June 2021, the Compensation Committee engaged Aon to assist in the analysis of the Company’s peer group to align with governance and market best practices in preparation for the 2022 compensation review cycle. In that capacity, Aon provided the Compensation Committee with a peer group
 
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analysis and made recommendations to the Compensation Committee in structuring the compensation program for the CEO and other executive officers.
The peer analysis conducted by Aon considered our peer companies to be U.S. based pre-commercial bio/pharma companies predominantly in Phase II/III clinical trials, and companies specializing in oncology, gene therapy, vaccine development and/or a diverse portfolio with one or more of the specialties. The peer group that resulted from this screening method consisted of 22 potential companies as the following:
Company Name
Agenus (AGEN) Allogene Therapeutics (ALLO) Atara Biotherapeutics (ATRA) Caribou Biosciences, Inc. (CRBU) CytomX Therapeutics (CTMX)
Fate Therapeutics (FATE) Gritstone bio (GRTS) IDEAYA Biosciences (IDYA) Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) Iovance Biotherapeutics (IOVA)
Legend Biotech (LEGN) Molecular Templates (MTEM) NGM Biopharmaceuticals (NGM) Poseida Therapeutics (PSTX) Precision BioSciences (DTIL)
REGENXBIO (RGNX)
Revolution Medicines (RVMD) Sana Biotechnology (SANA) Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE) TCR2 Therapeutics (TCRR)
VBI Vaccines (VBIV) Xencor (XNCR)
At the time the peer group for 2022 was proposed to the Compensation Committee, the peer group had the following median statistics:
Measure
50th Percentile
Precigen’s Position
Market Capitalization
$1.37 billion
$1.38 billion (50th percentile)
Revenues
$36.0 million
$97.9 million (92nd percentile)
Annualized 3-Year TSR
10%
-22% (14th percentile)
In preparation for making 2023 compensation decisions, in March 2023 the Compensation Committee reviewed the existing compensation peer group in consultation with its independent compensation consultant for continued financial and business fit and made the following updates:
The following companies were removed from the peer group:
CytomX Therapeutics (CTMX)
Legend Biotech (LEGN)
Molecular Templates (MTEM)
The following two companies were added to the peer group:
Lyell Immunopharma (LYEL)
Vaccitech (VACC)
The Compensation Committee plans to continue to monitor certain compensation practices at a variety of similarly situated or similarly structured companies in assessing and making compensation decisions going forward.
Establishing Total Direct Remuneration
Total direct remuneration is the sum of base salary, annual short-term incentive awards, long-term equity incentive awards (if any), and other benefits. A major portion of each executive officer’s remuneration is established by performance-based incentives, which require achievement of performance objectives and goals as a condition to earning annual short-term incentive awards, and long-term equity incentive awards, the value of which depends on our stock price upon vesting or exercise. The at-risk portion of total direct remuneration provides increased pay for higher levels of corporate and/or business sector performance.
In setting each executive officer’s total direct remuneration opportunity, the Compensation Committee takes into account factors such as the responsibilities, experience, performance, contributions, and service of
 
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the executive. We do not set total direct remuneration or the component parts at levels to achieve a mathematically precise market position. In determining executive compensation, the Compensation Committee reviews all components of each executive officer’s total compensation, including retirement benefits and the costs of any perquisites received, to ensure such compensation meets the goals of the program. As a part of this review, the Compensation Committee considers corporate performance and the recommendations of senior management. The Compensation Committee also takes into consideration individual and overall company operating performance to ensure executive compensation reflects past performance as well as future potential and, we believe, adequately differentiates among employees, based on the scope and complexity of the employee’s job position, individual performance and experience and our ability to pay. The Compensation Committee reviews annually each executive officer’s performance prior to considering changes in compensation. The individual performance of each executive officer is evaluated in light of our overall performance approved by the Compensation Committee and the Board. The Compensation Committee and the Board believe that the competitive environment, including for executive talent, is dynamic and evolving. For this reason, while the Compensation Committee believes the total compensation for each of the executive officers is reasonable and appropriate, the Compensation Committee continues to actively consider methods to further improve the effectiveness of our approach to executive compensation.
Consideration of Say-on-Pay Vote Results
The Board has determined to provide our shareholders the opportunity to vote each year to approve, on an advisory basis, the compensation of our named executive officers as disclosed in our Proxy Statement (“say-on-pay”). As an advisory vote, the vote on executive compensation is non-binding on the Board and should not be construed as (i) overruling a decision by the Board, (ii) creating or implying any change to our fiduciary duties, or (iii) creating or implying any additional fiduciary duties for the Board. Although the vote is non-binding, the Board and the Compensation Committee value the opinions of our shareholders, and consider our shareholders’ views when making executive compensation decisions, as they deem appropriate.
At our 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, we held a non-binding shareholder say-on-pay vote. Our shareholders approved our 2022 executive compensation proposal, with 78.1% of the shares that were cast on the proposal voted in favor of the say-on-pay resolution. We did not make any significant changes in our policies or programs in response to this vote. However, we will continue to consider the outcome of the say-on-pay vote for future compensation decisions for our executive officers.
Other Executive Compensation Practices
Anti-Hedging Policy
To ensure alignment of the interests of our shareholders, directors and executive officers, our Insider Trading Policy does not permit directors, officers, or employees to engage in short-term or speculative transactions involving our securities, including short sales, publicly traded options, or hedging of our securities.
Compensation Recovery Policies
It is the Board’s policy that in the event the Board determines that a significant restatement or correction of our financial results or other metrics is required for the prior fiscal year for which audited financial statements have been completed, and, had the results or metrics been properly calculated initially, our officers would have received less compensation, the Board has the authority to obtain reimbursement of any portion of any performance based compensation paid or awarded, whether cash or equity based, to the officers and to other employees responsible for accounting errors resulting in the restatement or correction that is greater than would have been paid or awarded calculated based upon the restated or corrected financial results or metrics. Further, it is the policy of the Board to seek recoupment in all instances where Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires us to seek recoupment.
In light of the SEC’s release of its final clawback rule in October 2022 and Nasdaq’s proposed listing standards issued in February 2023 implementing the rule, the Board and management are reviewing the
 
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Company’s clawback policy and intend to adopt a compliant updated clawback policy once the proposed Nasdaq listing standard is finalized.
Tax and Accounting Implications
Under Section 162(m) of the Code, compensation paid to each of the Company’s “covered employees” that exceeds $1 million per taxable year is generally non-deductible. To retain highly skilled executives and remain competitive with other employers, the Compensation Committee may authorize compensation that would not be deductible under Section 162(m) of the Code or otherwise if it determines that such compensation is in the best interests of us and our shareholders.
We follow Financial Accounting Standard Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718 (“ASC Topic 718”) for our stock-based compensation awards. ASC Topic 718 requires companies to estimate and record an expense for each award of equity compensation (including stock options and RSUs) over the vesting period of the award.
 
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COMPENSATION AND HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE REPORT
The Compensation and Human Capital Management Committee has reviewed and discussed the Compensation Discussion and Analysis required by Item 402(b) of Regulation S-K with management and, based on such review and discussion, the Compensation and Human Capital Management Committee recommended to the Board that it be included in this Proxy Statement.
THE COMPENSATION AND HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

James S. Turley, Chair

Fred Hassan

Jeffrey B. Kindler
Compensation Risk Assessment
As part of its oversight of our executive compensation program, the Compensation Committee considers the impact of our executive compensation program, and the incentives created by the compensation awards that it administers, on our risk profile. In addition, the Compensation Committee reviews our compensation policies and procedures, including the incentives that they create and factors that may reduce the likelihood of excessive risk-taking, to determine whether they present a significant risk to us. The Compensation Committee concluded that our compensation programs are designed with the appropriate balance of risk and reward in relation to our overall business strategy and that the balance of compensation elements discourages excessive risk taking. The Compensation Committee, therefore, determined that the risks arising from our compensation policies and practices for employees are not reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on us. The Compensation Committee will continue to consider compensation risk implications while deliberating the design of our executive compensation programs. In its discussions, the Compensation Committee considered the attributes of our programs, including:

appropriate pay philosophy in light of our business model;

balance with respect to the mix of cash and equity compensation, and measures of performance against both annual and multiyear standards;

long-term incentives linked to stock price performance;

long-term incentives generally have multiyear vesting to ensure a long-term focus and appropriate balance against short-term goals;

independent Compensation Committee oversight, with Compensation Committee discretion to reduce incentives based on subjective evaluation of individual performance; and

anti-hedging policies.
 
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SUMMARY COMPENSATION TABLE
The following table sets forth the compensation paid to or accrued by our named executive officers during the fiscal years ended December 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020.
Name and Principal Position
Year
Salary
($)
Bonus(1)
($)
Stock
Awards
(2)
($)
Option
Awards
(3)
($)
Non-Equity
Incentive Plan
Compensation
(4)
($)
All Other
Compensation
(5)
($)
Total
($)
Helen Sabzevari
Chief Executive Officer
2022 1,000,000 750,000 1,459,127 271,875 16,620 3,497,620
2021 1,000,000 750,002 749,998 16,170 2,516,168
2020 1,000,000 750,002 4,115,000 14,529,600 15,314 20,409,916
Harry Thomasian Jr.(6)
Chief Financial Officer
2022 454,584 17,840 344,540 34,437 35,019 886,420
2021 91,667 17,842 618,750 4,415 732,673
Donald P. Lehr
Chief Legal Officer
2022 575,000 80,498 258,405 41,687 35,712 991,302
2021 575,000 80,502 201,246 35,262 892,011
2020 575,000 201,254 570,000 31,957 1,378,211
Jeffrey Perez
Senior Vice President, IP Affairs
2022 500,000 70,000 258,405 36,250 33,992 898,647
2021 500,000 70,000 174,994 33,542 778,536
2020 500,000 175,006 570,000 30,716 1,275,722
Rutul R. Shah
Chief Operating Officer
(7)
2022 327,500 55,000 344,540 29,725 36,318 793,083
(1)
Represents discretionary cash bonuses for 2021 and 2020 paid in the year following the applicable year’s service period.
(2)
Represents the grant date fair value computed by us for financial reporting purposes, computed in accordance with ASC Topic 718. For a full description of the assumptions we use in computing these amounts, see Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2022, which is included in our 2022 Annual Report. This column does not include for 2022 the grant date fair value of RSUs granted as part of the incentive award for performance in 2022 because the awards were granted in 2023. However, it does include for 2022, 2021 and 2020 the grant date fair value of RSUs granted as part of the incentive award for performance in 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
(3)
Represents the grant date fair value computed by us for financial reporting purposes, computed in accordance with ASC Topic 718. For a full description of the assumptions we use in computing these amounts, see Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2022, which is included in our 2022 Annual Report. The actual value a named executive officer may receive depends on market prices and there can be no assurance that the amounts reflected in the Option Awards column will actually be realized. No gain to a named executive officer is possible without an appreciation in stock value after the date of grant.
(4)
For 2022, represents the aggregate annual performance-based cash incentive earned under the Company’s 2022 annual cash incentive program for executive employees that is paid in cash in the year following the applicable year’s service period.
(5)
The amounts in this column are further detailed in the “All Other Compensation Table for 2022.”
(6)
Mr. Thomasian commenced his employment with us as Chief Financial Officer on October 18, 2021. Accordingly, no information is displayed for 2020.
(7)
Mr. Shah commenced his employment with us as Chief Operating Officer on October 1, 2022. Accordingly, no information is displayed for 2021 and 2020.
 
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ALL OTHER COMPENSATION TABLE FOR 2022
The table below reflects the types and dollar amounts of perquisites, additional compensation, and other personal benefits provided to the named executive officers during 2022. For purposes of computing the dollar amounts of the items listed below, we used the actual out-of-pocket costs to us of providing the perquisite or other personal benefit to the named executive officer. The named executive officers paid any taxes associated with these benefits without reimbursement from us.
Name
Company-Paid
Welfare and
Life Benefits
Premiums
($)
401(k) Plan
Company
Contributions
($)
Total
($)
Helen Sabzevari
7,470 9,150 16,620
Harry Thomasian Jr.
25,869 9,150 35,019
Donald P. Lehr
26,562 9,150 35,712
Jeffrey Perez
24,842 9,150 33,992
Rutul R. Shah
27,168 9,150 36,318
GRANTS OF PLAN-BASED AWARDS FOR 2022
The following table presents information regarding grants of plan-based awards to the named executive officers during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022.
Name
Grant Date
Estimated Future Payouts Under
Non-Equity Incentive Plan Awards
(1)
All Other
Stock
Awards:
Number of
Shares of
Stock or
Units
(#)
All Other
Option
Awards:
Number of
Securities
Underlying
Options
(#)
Exercise or
Base
Price of
Option
Awards
($/Share)
Grant Date
Fair Value of
Stock and
Option
Awards
($)
(2)
Threshold
($)
Target
($)
Maximum
($)
Helen Sabzevari
2/2/2022 847,000 2.33 1,459,127
3/18/2022 340,909(3) 750,000
1,500,000
Harry Thomasian Jr.
2/2/2022 200,000 2.33 344,540
3/18/2022 8,109(3) 17,840
190,000
Donald P. Lehr
2/2/2022 150,000 2.33 258,405
3/18/2022 36,590(3) 80,498
230,000
Jeffrey Perez
2/2/2022 150,000 2.33 258,405
3/18/2022 31,818(3) 70,000
200,000
Rutul R. Shah
2/2/2022 200,000 2.33 344,540
3/18/2022 25,000(3) 55,000
164,000
(1)
Represents the target payout opportunity under the Company’s 2022 annual cash incentive program.
(2)
Represents the grant date fair value of the equity awards determined in accordance with ASC Topic 718.
(3)
Award was granted for performance in 2021.
 
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OUTSTANDING EQUITY AWARDS AT 2022 FISCAL YEAR END
The following table sets forth specified information concerning unexercised stock options and unvested RSUs held by each of the named executive officers as of December 31, 2022.
Option Awards
Stock Awards
Name
Grant
Date
Number of
Securities
Underlying
Unexercised
Options:
Exercisable
Number of
Securities
Underlying
Unexercised
Options:
Unexercisable
(1)
Option
Exercise
Price
($)
Option
Expiration
Date
Number of
Shares
or Units
of Stock
Not Vested
(#)
(1)
Market Value
of Shares or
Units of Stock
Not Vested
($)
Helen Sabzevari
7/17/2017 150,000 22.83 7/17/2027
1/4/2019 3,443 5,233
1/25/2019 14,222 21,617
1/5/2020 1,000,050 499,950 5.95 1/5/2030
1/5/2020 750,000 750,000 11.90 1/5/2030
1/5/2020 750,000 750,000 17.85 1/5/2030
2/2/2022 847,000 2.33 2/2/2032
Harry Thomasian Jr.
10/18/2021 45,000 135,000 4.72 10/18/2031
2/2/2022 200,000 2.33 2/2/2032
Donald P. Lehr
3/20/2014 207,855 29.56 3/20/2024
2/2/2017 225,000 20.94 2/2/2027
1/4/2019 18,939 28,787
2/2/2022 150,000 2.33 2/2/2032
Jeffrey Perez
8/25/2014 202,733 19.52 8/25/2024
2/2/2017 225,000 20.94 2/2/2027
1/4/2019 18,939 28,787
2/2/2022 150,000 2.33 2/2/2032
Rutul R. Shah
9/4/2014 4,944 17.34 9/4/2024
3/12/2015 2,597 45.69 3/12/2025
3/10/2016 2,510 34.85 3/10/2026
3/16/2017 5,000 21.38 3/16/2027
3/23/2018 4,000 15.80 3/23/2028
6/18/2019 30,000 10,000 8.60 6/18/2029
7/16/2020 30,000 30,000 4.67 7/16/2030
4/21/2021 25,000 75,000 8.17 4/21/2031
2/2/2022 200,000 2.33 2/2/2032
(1)
Each award vests in four equal annual installments beginning on the anniversary of the grant date.
 
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STOCK AWARDS VESTED FOR 2022
The following table sets forth specified information concerning stock vesting for each of the named executive officers during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022.
Stock Awards
Name
Number of
Shares Acquired
on Vesting
(#)
Value Realized
on Vesting
($)
(1)
Helen Sabzevari
340,909 426,136
9,765 36,228
14,223 51,629
3,444 12,502
Harry Thomasian Jr.
8,109 10,380
Donald P. Lehr
36,590 46,835
9,765 36,228
18,939 68,749
Jeffrey Perez
31,818 40,727
9,765 36,228
18,939 68,749
Rutul R. Shah
25,000 31,250
(1)
The amounts in the “Value Realized on Vesting” column are calculated based on the closing market price per share of our common stock on the date of vesting. This calculation differs from the grant date fair value of the equity awards determined in accordance with ASC Topic 718.
 
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POTENTIAL PAYMENTS UPON TERMINATION OR A CHANGE IN CONTROL
Employment Agreements with Named Executive Officers
Messrs. Lehr and Perez are each party to an employment agreement with the Company entered into in April 2019 that provide for certain severance rights upon termination without “Cause” ​(as defined in the applicable employment agreement) or resignation by the executive officer for “Good Reason” ​(as defined in the applicable employment agreement). Pursuant to the terms of these employment agreements, subject to the execution of a release of claims, the named executive officer would be entitled to receive (i) payment equivalent to 18 months of his base pay, and (ii) the named executive officer’s expected cost of COBRA premiums for continued medical coverage for up to 18 months.
Neither Mr. Thomasian’s nor Mr. Shah’s employment arrangements provide for any termination payments or benefits.
Employment Agreement with Dr. Sabzevari
In connection with her appointment to the position of President and CEO in January 2020, we entered into an employment agreement with Dr. Sabzevari (the “CEO Employment Agreement”). The term under the CEO Employment Agreement commenced on January 1, 2020 and continues until terminated in accordance with the CEO Employment Agreement.
Dr. Sabzevari’s initial annual base salary under the CEO Employment Agreement is $1,000,000. Dr. Sabzevari received sign-on equity grants in connection with her commencement of employment with us. The CEO Employment Agreement also provides for eligibility for an annual bonus of between 75% and 150% of Dr. Sabzevari’s annual base salary, contingent upon continuous employment by us and Dr. Sabzevari’s performance during the bonus period and through the date on which the bonus is paid, as determined in the sole discretion of the Board. Pursuant to the CEO Employment Agreement, Dr. Sabzevari will be entitled to participate in all employee benefit plans that are generally made available to senior Precigen exempt executives.
Pursuant to the CEO Employment Agreement, in the event Dr. Sabzevari’s employment is terminated by the Company without Cause or by Dr. Sabzevari for Good Reason, subject to her execution of a release of claims, Dr. Sabzevari would be eligible to receive (i) an amount equal to 18 months of her then-current base annual salary (or, in the event of a material reduction of Dr. Sabzevari’s base salary giving rise to Good Reason, her pre-reduction base salary), (ii) a pro rata portion of her maximum annual performance bonus for the calendar year of her termination plus any annual bonus for the calendar year prior to the date of her termination of employment that would have been earned but for her termination date occurring prior to the date of payment of such bonus, (iii) full acceleration of any unvested portion of the Initial Equity Grants (as defined in her employment agreement), (iv) full acceleration of any unvested portion of the Performance Equity Grants (as defined in her employment agreement) in the event such termination occurs within 12 months of a Change in Control, as defined our Amended and Restated 2013 Omnibus Incentive Plan (the “2013 Plan”) (see “Equity Award Provisions” below), and (v) if elected, payment or reimbursement for COBRA healthcare continuation coverage for up to 18 months following the termination date.
Regardless of the reason of termination, under the CEO Employment Agreement, Dr. Sabzevari will be entitled to receive (i) any earned, but unpaid, base salary through the date of termination, (ii) a cash payout of accrued but unused vacation, and (iii) any amounts owed for reimbursement of expenses pursuant to applicable Precigen reimbursement policies.
“Cause” under CEO Employment Agreement has generally the same meaning as “Cause” in the employment agreements with the other named executive officers, except that a continued failure to substantially perform material duties does not constitute cause and that only material acts of dishonesty, illegal conduct, fraud, embezzlement, misappropriation, material misconduct, or breach of fiduciary duty constitute Cause.
“Good Reason” under Dr. Sabzevari’s Employment Agreement has generally the same meaning as “Good Reason” in the employment agreements with the other named executive officers, except that a
 
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reduction in her base salary of more than 5%, other than a general reduction for similarly situated employees not to exceed 10%, constitutes “Good Reason.”
Equity Award Provisions
To ensure that we will have the continued dedicated service of certain executives, including some of our named executive officers, notwithstanding the possibility, threat, or occurrence of a Change in Control, our stock option and RSU award agreements with our named executive officers contain change in control provisions. Specifically, these agreements provide that in the event a Change in Control occurs and no provision is made for the continuance, assumption or substitution of the option award by the Company or its successor in connection with the Change in Control, then the award will vest in full, to the extent not already vested, on the earlier of the date of the Change in Control or the date the award is to be terminated in connection with the Change in Control, provided the executive has remained continuously employed by the Company or any affiliate from the grant date until such time.
The Compensation Committee believes that the Change in Control provisions in our 2013 Plan and our stock option awards serve the best interests of our Company and our shareholders by ensuring that if a Change in Control is ever under consideration, our executives are able to perform their duties and responsibilities and advise the Board about the potential transaction in the best interests of shareholders, without being unduly influenced by the distracting uncertainty and risk associated with a Change in Control, such as fear of the economic consequences of losing their equity awards as a result of a Change in Control.
A “Change in Control” is defined in the 2013 Plan to mean generally the occurrence of any of the following events:
(a)
the accumulation in any number of related or unrelated transactions by any person of beneficial ownership (as such term is used in Rule 13d-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act) of more than 50% of the combined voting power of our voting stock; provided that for purposes of this subsection (a), a Change in Control will not be deemed to have occurred if the accumulation of more than 50% of the voting power of our voting stock results from any acquisition of voting stock (i) directly from the Company that is approved by the Incumbent Board (as defined in the 2013 Plan), (ii) by the Company, (iii) by any employee benefit plan (or related trust) sponsored or maintained by us or any affiliate, or (iv) by any person pursuant to a merger, consolidation, reorganization or other transaction (a “Business Combination”) that would not cause a Change in Control under subsection (b), (c) or (d) below;
(b)
consummation of a Business Combination, unless, immediately following that Business Combination, (i) all or substantially all of the persons who were the beneficial owners of our voting stock immediately prior to that Business Combination beneficially own, directly or indirectly, more than 50% of the then outstanding shares of common stock and more than 50% of the combined voting power of the then outstanding voting stock entitled to vote generally in the election of directors of the entity resulting from that Business Combination (including, without limitation, an entity that as a result of that Business Combination owns the Company or all or substantially all of our assets either directly or through one or more subsidiaries) in substantially the same proportions relative to each other as their ownership, immediately prior to that Business Combination, of our voting stock:
(c)
a sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of our assets, except pursuant to a Business Combination that would not cause a Change in Control under subsection (b) above or (d) below;
(d)
approval by the shareholders of a complete liquidation or dissolution of the Company, except pursuant to a Business Combination that would not cause a Change in Control under subsection (b) and (c) above;
(e)
the acquisition by any person, directly or indirectly, of the power to direct or cause the direction of our management and policies (i) through the ownership of securities which provide the holder with such power, excluding voting rights attendant with such securities, or (ii) by contract; provided that a Change in Control will not be deemed to have occurred if such power was acquired (x) directly from the Company in a transaction approved by the Incumbent Board, (y) by an
 
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employee benefit plan (or related trust) sponsored or maintained by the Company or any affiliate or (z) by any person pursuant to a Business Combination that would not cause a Change in Control under subsections (b), (c) or (d) above; or
(f)
During any period of two consecutive years, the Incumbent Board ceases to constitute a majority of the Board.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, a “Change in Control” does not include any accumulation of beneficial ownership or any Business Combination pursuant to which more than 50% of the beneficial ownership of the combined voting power of our voting stock is owned by (i) Randal J. Kirk, his spouse, his descendants and the spouses of his descendants, (ii) trusts and other entities established generally for the benefit of Randal J. Kirk, his spouse, his descendants and the spouses of his descendants, (iii) Third Security Staff 2001 LLC and any related funds, investors or entities, and/or (iv) any entities established by any of the foregoing.
In addition, our stock option and RSU award agreements with our named executive officers provide for the full vesting of the awards in the event of termination by reason of the named executive officer’s death or disability.
Potential Payments
The following table shows the potential payments upon termination without cause or for good reason by the executive officer, a change in control of the Company, incapacity or death for the named executive officers based on agreements and plans in effect as of December 31, 2022. The amounts in this table are calculated assuming the triggering event occurred on December 31, 2022 and all executives were paid in a lump sum payment.
Potential Payments upon Termination or a Change in Control
Termination
Without
Cause or for
Good
Reason
(Prior to a
Change in
Control)
($)
Termination
Without
Cause or for
Good
Reason
(Within 12
Months of a
Change in
Control)
($)
Change in
Control (No
Termination)
(1)
($)
Disability(2)
($)
Death(3)
($)
Helen Sabzevari
Accelerated Equity 26,851 26,851 26,851 26,851
Severance Payment