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Algenol has announced that its founder and CEO Paul Woods is resigning. A press release distributed Friday afternoon called his decision “voluntary” and said “he will remain on the board of the company for continuity purposes and to assist the company on its road to commercialization.”

The news was surprising and comes on the heels of what had appeared to be a promising stretch for the company. Last month, the Fort Myers-based biotech firm announced a partnership with Protec Fuel Management to distribute the firm’s ethanol commercially. Over the summer, it had received the inaugural Presidential Green Chemistry Award, and last April, company representatives had joined the U.S. Secretary of Energy and U.S. Secretary of Commerce on a business development mission to China in which the company demonstrated solutions to reducing carbon emissions. It is also the recent recipient of the Global Leadership in Biofuels Award from PLATTS, an industry organization.

In a written statement, Algenol’s board president Alejandro Gonzalez said:

“We thank Paul for the huge contribution he has made to Algenol and for helping us to get to this point in the company’s development. We are grateful that he has chosen to remain associated with Algenol. His experience, insight and knowledge will help us to achieve our goals. We, the Gonzalez Group, and our co-investor, Reliance Group, remain committed to commercializing Algenol’s DIRECT TO ETHANOL® technology.”

The Gonzalez Group is a significant investor in Algenol.

Algenol produces ethanol, gasoline, jet and diesel fuels from algae using sunlight, salt water and carbon dioxide. Founded in 2006, the company operates its headquarters in Fort Myers and has an additional facility in Germany.

For more information about the company, see our profile of Woods from the May 2014 issue of Gulfshore Business. Woods is also one of the Gulfshore Life 2015 Men & Women of the Year recipients.

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