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On Thursday Illumina, the largest and most important maker of DNA sequencing technology, whose innovations have changed medicine and have been crucial in our battles with diseases from Covid to cancer, will face a day of reckoning.

A catch-up: Illumina is holding a meeting during which investors will vote on who should be on its board of directors. Carl Icahn, the embodiment of activist investing, has proposed adding three new directors to the board. Proxy adviser Glass Lewis has recommended investors replace Illumina’s chairman and chief executive officer on the board with Icahn’s nominees. Corporate governance adviser Institutional Shareholder Services backed an Icahn candidate to replace Illumina’s board chairman.


That means that this is the rare proxy fight that could result in serious change. In fact, no matter what happens, it’s hard to imagine that Illumina won’t shift its direction.

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