Three months after being forced out as CEO of the investment firm Safeguard Scientifics, Stephen Zarrilli has been chosen to be the next president and CEO of the University City Science Center, starting October 1, the center announced Thursday.
A member of the center’s board of directors since 2014, Zarrilli will assume the role almost a year after the former president and CEO, Stephen S. Tang, stepped down in January to become CEO of OraSure Technologies, the Bethlehem-based maker of saliva-testing equipment.
Zarrilli, 57, said the center will be a “leader in driving the future of innovation in Philadelphia” because of its physical assets and ability to attract entrepreneurs and retain students in the area.
“I really believe we are at a place in our evolution as a business environment for innovation that, as good as its been in the past 30 years, we have a lot of organizations working together,” said Zarrilli, who grew up in the Philadelphia region and lives in Malvern, Pa.
In a statement, Board Chairman Craig R. Carnaroli called Zarrilli “a proven leader of ideas, organizations and people, and a passionate advocate for helping entrepreneurs grow concepts into companies.”
Zarrilli arrives at the science center — a nonprofit that combines resources from the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and others — after losing his job in April at Radnor-based Safeguard, where he served as CFO from 2008 to 2012 before becoming president and CEO.
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