Jay Flatley, executive chairman of Illumina.

Jay Flatley, the executive who built Illumina into a worldwide genomics powerhouse, was named to the prestigious CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

Flatley led Illumina as CEO from 1999 until 2016 and now serves as executive chairman. During his tenure as CEO, he took the company from $1.3 million in sales to $2.2 billion while drastically reducing the cost of sequencing the human genome.

“Jay was a natural selection for 16th member of CONNECT’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame,” said Greg McKee, CEO of CONNECT. “The broad impact that Jay and Illumina’s work has had, and will have, on human lives around the world is only in its infancy. Jay’s vision, leadership, and perseverance provides an incredibly insightful path to emulate for all of us in San Diego who dream to develop nascent technologies globally.”

The MIT Technology Review named Illumina the “World’s Smartest Company” in 2014.

“It has been a privilege to serve as the CEO of Illumina during such an exciting era where sequencing human genomes has become routine, and the cost has been driven down under $1,000,” said Flatley. “The potential impact on patients and the future of healthcare is extraordinary, and I thank the San Diego community and CONNECT for their role in our success.”

Flatley joins of list of entrepreneurs that includes General Atomics’ Linden Blue and Qualcomm’s Irwin Jacobs and Andrew Viterbi.

An award dinner honoring Flatley will be held on Nov. 30 in conjunction with CONNECT’s 30th Most Innovative New Product awards.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.