A trial, decoded

Hákon Hákonarson and deCODE genetics CEO Kári Stefánsson used to consider each other friends. Hákonarson, the former vice president of business development at the Icelandic biopharmaceutical company, used to ride horses with Stefánsson and spend time with him outside of work. That all ended in May, 2006, when Hákonarson left deCODE to direct and help form the new Center for Applie

Jonathan Scheff
Apr 1, 2008

Hákon Hákonarson and deCODE genetics CEO Kári Stefánsson used to consider each other friends. Hákonarson, the former vice president of business development at the Icelandic biopharmaceutical company, used to ride horses with Stefánsson and spend time with him outside of work. That all ended in May, 2006, when Hákonarson left deCODE to direct and help form the new Center for Applied Genomics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

On August 4, deCODE sued Hákonarson and four other former deCODE employees who moved to CHOP, arguing that the new CHOP genomics center was a direct competitor of deCODE, and that Hákonarson had acted as a "double agent" for CHOP during his final months at deCODE, recruited other former deCODE employees to do the same, and destroyed evidence of their misdeeds.

This lawsuit is about the "vindictive, misguided result of Stefánsson's bruised ego."

The defendants denied all allegations: "The notion that...