William Caldwell IV, the chairman and CEO of Advanced Cell Technology Inc. (OTC:ACTC), died suddenly Dec. 13. He was 63.
Marlborough, Mass.-based ACT said Caldwell had been CEO since 2005 and chairman since 2006.
"All of us at ACT owe Bill a tremendous debt of gratitude for his tireless efforts for the company, its shareholders and especially for those suffering from diseases such as macular degeneration," said Gary Rabin, who was named interim chairman and CEO until a permanent replacement can be found. "It would be difficult to overstate his accomplishments as chairman and CEO. Bill worked tirelessly and ceaselessly on the company’s behalf, steering it through a challenging political environment and then through an extremely challenging funding environment. Bill made great sacrifices to help ACT not only survive, but thrive, and was critical in bringing the company to where it is today, having achieved a number of its major milestones and on the verge of announcing several more achievements."
Caldwell, who lived in Pacific Palisades, Calif., had more than 30 years of management expertise at the time of his appointment to ACT’s corner office, according to a press release. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, and their five children, Will, Blake, Tyler, Courtney and Brandon, according to the Palisadian-Post.
"To understand Bill you really need to look at him in three ways," ACT chief scientific officer Dr. Robert Lanza said in prepared remarks. "There was the businessman, the leader and the person. As a person, he was very humble and unassuming. As a leader, he created a culture where hard work and collaboration just came naturally. There is an incredible vibrancy to our company that Bill created. And as businessman, he was masterful. It is because he made it his mission in life that we are about to begin treating macular degeneration patients in the coming months, and have an exciting pipeline of new therapies of in the works. My greatest regret is that someday there will be people who will benefit from stem cell therapies, but who will never know the sacrifices that Bill and his wife Nancy made for their well-being."