The chief executive officer of the state's life sciences initiative is stepping down. BioCrossroads says David Johnson, who has led the organization for 14 years, is leaving at the end of the year to focus full-time on his role as president and CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.

The CICP is the parent organization of Indiana's six talent and industry sector initiatives, including BioCrossroads. Johnson was elected president and CEO of the CICP in 2012 and has since led both organizations in a shared capacity.

"It’s definitely the right time for this transition, but it’s still a bittersweet moment for me to leave the professional team and life sciences leaders who have energized every day of my professional life for more than 15 years, starting in 2002 when I served as one of the community volunteers launching BioCrossroads," Johnson said in a news release. "This organization has never been stronger, and the prospects for this premier economic sector have never been brighter—even though the stakes for future growth are always high."

Darren Carroll, chairman of the BioCrossroads Board of Directors, celebrated Johnson's contributions to the state's life sciences industry, including raising nearly $400 million for Indiana's life sciences opportunities, as well as spearheading the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute and 16 Tech development. He says Johnson's influence on the life sciences sector "is beyond anything we could have hoped for at the onset of BioCrossroads."

Johnson's resignation will become effective December 31. Nora Doherty, senior vice president of BioCrossroads and managing director of the Indiana Seed Funds, will serve as interim president and CEO until a permanent successor is found. 

BioCrossroads has retained professional search firm Odgers Berndtson to manage the nationwide search for a new CEO.