Biotech company executive and Woodway resident resigns amid domestic violence allegations

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Dr. Clay Siegall, co founder of SeaGen
Reprinted from

The co-founder and CEO of the Seagen biotechnology company, a Woodway resident, has resigned his job as police continue a domestic violence investigation into what happened at his home.

An Edmonds police report stated that Dr. Clay Siegall’s wife phoned 911 before dawn on April 23, telling a dispatcher that her husband was hurting her and had pushed her to the floor. In that report, Siegall’s wife also told 911 that she was afraid for her life, but then said, “please leave and go away… he’ll go crazy, he’s a public figure.”

The Edmonds Police Department contracts with the nearby Town of Woodway to provide police services.

When Edmonds officers arrived at the front door of the couple’s home, the police report indicates they found Mrs. Siegall naked and saw marks and bruises on her forehead and knees. Another man and his wife were there too, and that man told police he had seen Siegall assault Mrs. Siegall. Officers reported that Siegall and his wife appeared intoxicated.

The report says Siegall told police he had not touched his wife. But they found probable cause to arrest him on a count of fourth-degree domestic violence, a misdemeanor. He was taken to Snohomish County Jail and booked.

A week and a half after the alleged assault, Seagen placed Siegall on a leave of absence. On May 15, Siegall resigned from the company. A Seagen news release quotes Seagen Board member Dr. Nancy Simonian as saying the company “is treating these allegations with the utmost seriousness.”

From the news release:

“The company is aware of an alleged incident of domestic violence that occurred recently at Dr. Siegall’s home. Dr. Siegall has denied these allegations and has informed the company that he is engaged in a divorce. The Board of Directors has formed a committee of independent directors and is conducting a thorough investigation with the assistance of an independent law firm.”

On May 2, Siegall was served with a temporary protection order, which prevents him from contacting his wife or coming near their 11,000-square-foot Woodway mansion. The document quotes Siegall’s wife as saying that it was not the first time he physically assaulted her. The couple had separated in early 2021 but had reconciled, according to the protection order.

In 1998, Clay Siegall was co-founder of what was then called Seattle Genetics. The federal government approved its first cancer drug in 2011. Three thousand employees work in the Seattle area, in Canada and Switzerland. Seagen is worth an estimated $22 billion.

On May 15, the company alerted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it had negotiated a severance package that would give Siegall one-and-a-half times his annual salary as well as a target annual bonus and would accelerate his options to buy stock. The document says Siegall earned nearly $19 million last year in total compensation, with his base salary just over $16million. The Associated Press reported that made Siegall “the highest paid CEO” in the state. He agreed to ‘hold off’ taking his severance until early 2023, and a company news release says Siegall is cooperating with their internal investigation.

— By Bob Throndsen


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