Jun Wang, the CEO of BGI, who has been at the firm for 16 years and helped lead the company into becoming a leading player in genomics, has stepped down to follow his passion in artificial intelligence.
Nature News, an online scientific journal, posted the news of Wang’s departure on its website. Although Wang will still be affiliated with BGI, he won’t be playing any decisions. Wang helped build a data oriented infrastructure that supported BGI’s sequencing operations, and he has said in the past that he has a major interest in working in artificial intelligence.
"He was always interested in the brain," Duke University's Erich Jarvis told Nature News. Jarvis, who works as a neuroscientist at the Durham, NC University, said this manifested in an unfulfilled interest in artificial intelligence. "Running a genome company, he couldn't get to it as much as he liked," Jarvis said. Wang told Jarvis of his decision to step down at a meeting recently. "His reasoning was that he felt like he's done a lot for BGI already, and that he would like to now move on to try new horizons," Jarvis said.