Clay Siegall has stepped down from his position as CEO of Seagen. (Dan Bates / Herald file)

Clay Siegall has stepped down from his position as CEO of Seagen. (Dan Bates / Herald file)

Bothell biotech CEO resigns after domestic-violence allegation

Clay Siegall co-founded Seagen, which develops therapies for cancer patients. He’s accused of attacking his wife.

BOTHELL — The CEO of a Bothell biotech company that develops therapies for cancer patients resigned this week following his arrest last month due to allegations of domestic abuse.

Clay Siegall, the CEO, president and board chairman of Seagen, a publicly traded company, stepped down from the post Monday.

Siegall, 61, has been CEO of Seagen since co-founding the biotech firm, previously known as Seattle Genetics, in 1998.

Police arrested him April 23 at his Woodway home for investigation of fourth-degree domestic violence assault, a gross misdemeanor. He was booked him into Snohomish County Jail, then released the next day.

Siegall’s wife reported Siegall had physically assaulted and injured her, resulting in bruises, a cut and a sprained wrist. She requested a protection order, claiming he had physically and emotionally abused her previously. They have been married since 2019. A judge granted a temporary protection order until a court hearing in August.

On May 9, Seagen announced Siegall was on a leave of absence.

The board of directors formed a committee to investigate his conduct with the aid of an independent law firm, according to a company statement. Siegall denied the allegations and told company officials he was engaged in a divorce, the company said.

“We have high standards for employee conduct, we condemn domestic violence in all its forms, and we are treating these allegations with the utmost seriousness,” said Nancy Simonian, chair of the Seagen Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. “At this time, the facts are still uncertain, and our decisions will be guided by the outcome of our investigation.”

On Monday, Seagen announced that because of the ongoing investigation, Siegall and the board “agreed it is in the best interests of Seagen and its stakeholders for him to resign at this time.”

His resignation “has not been driven by findings from the investigation,” the company said.

Siegall made $19 million in salary and compensation in 2021, according to documents filed with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission. Meanwhile, the company had revenue of $1.6 billion.

Roger Dansey, Seagen’s chief medical officer since 2018, will continue as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found, the company said.

Felix Baker, formerly Seagen’s lead independent director, was appointed board chairman.

“As we move forward, the Board has great confidence in the leadership of Roger Dansey, the senior management team and the nearly 3,000 employees to continue Seagen’s impressive growth trajectory,” Baker said in a statement.

“Seagen remains strong, our future is bright, and we are on track to achieve several important milestones over the remainder of 2022 and beyond,” Baker said. “Dr. Siegall co-founded Seagen in 1998 with a vision to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people with cancer by developing targeted therapies to treat unmet medical needs. Today, Seagen is a leading developer of cancer medicines, with four approved products and a robust pipeline of innovative therapies.”

Siegall was awarded the John M. Fluke Award in 2018, which is given to an “individual who has demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit, and community leadership,” according to Economic Alliance Snohomish County, which sponsors the award. The award is named for the founder of the Everett-based Fluke Corp.

Siegall was working for Bristol Myers Squibb in the 1990s when the company transferred him to manage a facility it bought in the Seattle area.

Six years later, the pharmaceutical company closed the facility, but Siegall decided to stay in Seattle.

Siegall founded Seattle Genetics in 1998. Its lead product is a drug called Adcetris, which helps treat cancer patients with Hodgkin lymphoma.

In 2017, the company bought a manufacturing facility in the North Creek area that was previously owned by Bristol Myers Squibb.

A year later, the firm acquired Cascadian Therapeutics, a Seattle-based company that is developing a drug to treat breast cancer.

The company changed its name from Seattle Genetics to Seagen in 2020.

Janice Podsada: 425-339-3097; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @JanicePods.

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