Hot 20 2009: Sean George, COO of Navigenics


Photography by Jen Siska.

Given that Sean George is a self-confessed “great admirer of women,” it comes as no surprise that a girl named Claire is to blame for the biotech executive’s lack of sleep. “I work a lot, so I don’t get much sleep to begin with, but with my 2-year-old daughter (shown here), I get even less,” says George, COO of Silicon Valley darling, Navigenics. The company provides genetics screening and prevention guidance for 28 common chronic conditions, including diabetes, breast cancer and heart disease—all you need is a dab of saliva and $999. “Our customers are interested in long-term health, and I’d say that having Claire definitely makes me think more about sticking around for another 50 years.”

Like any conscientious local worth his salt, George’s personal interests include such popular pursuits as water reclamation and urban farming. “Many of the business parks in this area are built on the most fertile land in the world,” says George, who holds a Ph.D. in molecular genetics. “What’s on there now? Some bullshit topiaries. Why don’t we grow food there?”

Speaking of nourishment, George and his wife, Jennifer, frequently savor the gourmet offerings on Piedmont Avenue, near their Oakland home: Spanish tapas at César, pasta at Dopo and—despite his focus on health—local brews Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA and Drake’s 1500 at Cato’s Ale House. “I’m not a smoker. I’m not a drug user. But I really, really, really enjoy a few good beers at the end of a hard workweek.”

Read about 7x7's Editorial Director Heather Hartle's Navigenics testing experience here.

Check out the other 2009 Hot 20.

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