Alejandro Zaffaroni, one of the most influential company founders in biotechnology, last week announced his retirement from the boards of Alza Corp. (AZA, Palo Alto, Calif.) and Affymetrix Inc. (AFFX, Santa Clara, Calif.). With his 75th birthday approaching, Zaffaroni now will "restrict" his activities to being CEO of two private companies, Maxygen Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) and Symyx Technologies (Sunnyvale, Calif.), and running the non-profit Zaffaroni Foundation and the venture capital firm Technogen Associates LP.

In discussing his plans with BioCentury, Zaffaroni described a future in which the availability of genetic information, meaning both genes and protein activity, will create a plethora of new opportunities. This will result in a "tremendous change in the structure of companies being formed," he said.