About Hannes Smárason

Co-Founder & CEO, WuXi NextCODE



Hannes Thor Smárason is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of WuXi NextCODE, a genomic information company using sequence data to improve health for people around the world. A prolific entrepreneur, investor, and advisor, he has been responsible for generating deals in excess of $650 million in the pharmaceutical industry and other fields. In 2013, Mr. Smárason co-founded NextCODE Health as an IT spinoff from Iceland’s deCODE genetics. Two years later, he led the merger of NextCODE with WuXi AppTec’s Genome Center in Shanghai to create WuXi NextCODE. First as COO and then as CEO, he has overseen the integration of WuXi NextCODE’s operations in the U.S., China, and Iceland and led the growth of its business on four continents. Today, WuXi NextCODE is the emerging global standard platform for applying genomic data to improve health and wellness. Its technology underpins many of the largest and most ambitious diagnostics, population genomics, precision medicine and wellness endeavors worldwide, from the U.S. and China to the UK, Qatar, Ireland and Singapore.

Mr. Smárason served from 1997-2004 as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Business and Finance at deCODE. During that time, the company achieved worldwide recognition as the global leader in analyzing and understanding the human genome and launched the first U.S.-listed IPO by an Icelandic company. Mr. Smárason has been a longtime advisor to deCODE genetics and its venture investors Polaris Venture Partners and ARCH Venture Partners, and contributed to the strategy that culminated in the $415 million sale of deCODE genetics to Amgen in 2012. In the mid- 2000s, Mr. Smárason served as the Chairman and CEO of Icelandair and its parent company. Prior to joining deCODE, Mr. Smárason was a consultant at McKinsey & Company serving Fortune 100 clients in the finance, healthcare, and hospitality sectors.

Mr. Smárason holds two BS degrees from MIT in management and in mechanical engineering, and he received his MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Previous Positions:



Skills & Expertise:

Volunteer Experience & Causes: