Kara Swisher

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23andMe Names Former Gilt Exec Andy Page as President (Video)

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Personal genetics company 23andMe has named Andy Page as its president, a newly created executive position.

The reason for the addition, said CEO and co-founder Anne Wojcicki, is to push for more customer growth — 23andMe is trying to reach one million members by the end of the year — and the scaling of its operations.

“Since we dropped the price, we have been growing substantially, and now need to execute with a level of perfection,” said Wojcicki, referring to the new $99 price for 23andMe’s genetic test. “We have had to scale very quickly, and still need to keep growing even more.”

Page, who will report to Wojcicki, will be in charge of a wide swath of 23andMe, including product and engineering, marketing, finance, business development, laboratory operations and legal and regulatory issues. He will also be tasked with helping develop business strategy.

Wojcicki will focus more on 23andMe’s growing research unit, which uses a crowdsourced model to focus on personalized medicine.

Page, who has been on the board of Mountain View, Calif.-based 23andMe since last year, and advising the company from much earlier, was most recently president of Gilt Groupe, the New York-based luxury shopping site. Previous to that, he has been CFO at both PlayPhone and StubHub. He also worked at Panasas, ONI Systems and Robertson Stephens. Page did his undergraduate work at Princeton University, and got his MBA from Harvard Business School.

“The common denominator with all these jobs is the scaling of consumer-aimed business that is breaking into a transformative market, said Page. “And my being on the board and knowing the company well for a while makes this a different kind of transition.”

Here’s a recent video interview I did with Wojcicki, in which she talked about taking the company — which also recently garnered $50 million more in funding — to the next level:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik