Robert B. Chess is the Chairman of Nektar’s Board of Directors and has served as a Director since May 1992. Mr. Chess currently is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Biota Technology, a private company developing applications of DNA-sequencing for the energy industry, and is Lead Director at Twist Biosciences, which manufactures synthetic DNA using a silicon-based synthesis platform. From March 2006 until January 2007, Mr. Chess served as our Acting President and Chief Executive Officer, and from April 1999 to January 2007, served as Executive Chairman. He also served as our Co-Chief Executive Officer from August 1998 to April 2000, as President from December 1991 to August 1998, and as Chief Executive Officer from May 1992 to August 1998. Mr. Chess was previously CEO and Chairman of OPX Biotechnologies, a renewable chemicals company, which was sold to Cargill, and the Co-Founder and President of Penederm, Inc., a publicly-traded pharmaceutical dermatology company that was acquired by Mylan Laboratories. He has held management positions at Intel Corporation and Metaphor Computer Systems (now part of IBM), and was a member of President George H.W. Bush’s White House staff as a White House Fellow and Associate Director of the White House Office of Economic and Domestic Policy.
From 1997 to 2009, Mr. Chess served on the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) where he was Chairman of BIO’s Emerging Companies Section and Co-Chairman of BIO’s Intellectual Property Committee. Mr. Chess was the initial Chairman of Bio Ventures for Global Health and continues to serve on its board. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Technology, where he chairs the Technology Transfer Committee and has taught entrepreneurship as a visiting professor. He is currently a member of the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he teaches courses in the MBA program on entrepreneurship and on the healthcare industry. Mr. Chess received his B.S. degree in Engineering with honors from the California Institute of Technology and his MBA from Harvard Business School.