Biota News


San Diego, CA (Oct 15, 2019). Biota, the pioneer in industrial genomics, today announced the appointment of Mathias Schlecht as Chief Technology Officer, Dharmesh Mehta as Executive Chairman, and Shandell Szabo as an independent Board Director. This expanded leadership team will support the company through the next phase of commercial growth.  

"Since our company’s inception, the principal focus was demonstrating a reliable, repeatable, and scalable genomic measurement of the subsurface," said Ajay Kshatriya, Chief Executive Officer. "Now that we've achieved this objective, the task ahead is building a scalable energy business with high margins and growth."

Joining the senior management team is Dr. Mathias Schlecht, who will be accountable for translating Biota's technical insights into specific oil and gas applications that solve customer problems.

Prior to joining Biota, Dr. Schlecht was with Baker Hughes Incorporated for more than 20 years, where he held various business and technology leadership positions, including serving as VP Drilling Services, VP Drilling & Evaluation Technology, Chief Engineer and VP Enterprise Technology. Dr. Schlecht holds a MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Hamburg University of Technology.

"Commercializing a new diagnostic that combines biology with data science and subsurface applications is a truly unique opportunity. We just started to unlock the full potential in the Energy Business and see new opportunities for biology as a data business every day. Besides the exciting technology, it is very rewarding to work with a highly energized, talented, fast moving, innovative team," said Dr. Schlecht.

As Biota expands the application portfolio in the global oil and gas market, industry veterans Shandell Szabo and Dharmesh Mehta will serve as Board Directors to guide the strategic direction of the firm.

Mrs. Szabo was previously a Vice President, U.S. Exploration at Anadarko Petroleum after serving as Vice President, U.S. Onshore Exploration. She held several managerial, technical, and international roles at Anadarko prior to this appointment and began her career at Exxon Mobil.  Mrs. Szabo also serves as the Chairman of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Corporate Advisory Board.  She holds a BS in Environmental Geology from the University of Michigan and a MS in Geology from Texas Christian University.

“Nothing in the oil industry stays the same for long, which is why the innovative, efficient and cost-effective approach Biota brings to unlock new value gets me excited,” said Mrs. Szabo.

Mr. Mehta is an entrepreneur and executive with a track record in identifying and anticipating market trends and developing successful startups and technologies to solve market needs. He has previously led large multinational organizations. He spent 15 years with Weatherford, including as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the company. Prior to this role, he held various positions such as Engineering Manager, with Landmark Graphics and Software Interfaces , Product Development Manager, with Platinum Technology, and Sales & Marketing Manager, with Case. Mr.  Mehta holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Houston and a MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

'"Applications of Genomics to solve complex problems will have a transformational impact on energy and other industrial markets over the next few decades. Biota has demonstrated that it has a platform and a strong leadership team to deliver on this vision.  I am glad to join this exciting team on their journey," said Mr. Mehta.

"Biota's leadership team provides the executive experience, global relationships, and strategic insight to propel the company for decades to come," said Mr. Kshatriya. "We are honored to have such senior industry leaders support our efforts to pioneer Biology as a Data Business."