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MIT Ranks Illumina World’s Third-Smartest Company

A San Diego medtech giant is one of the “smartest” companies out there, according to MIT Technology Review, which Tuesday released its annual list of 50 companies that have created new markets or taken risks to disrupt an existing marketplace.

The publication ranked Illumina Inc., the world’s largest maker of DNA sequencing machines, No. 3 on its “50 Smartest Companies” list.

Only Amazon and its Chinese equivalent, Baidu, were ranked higher.

Illumina, with a market cap of nearly $20 billion, recently announced that its longtime CEO, Jay Flatley, would step down and become executive chairman of the board. Francis deSouza, company president, is slated to take over as CEO in July.

“Some of this year’s stars are large companies, like Amazon and Alphabet, that are using digital technologies to redefine industries,” said Jason Pontin, MIT Technology Review’s publisher and editor-in-chief, in a statement. “Others are wrestling with technological changes: companies like Microsoft, Bosch, Toyota, and Intel. Also on the list are ambitious startups like 23andMe, a pioneer in consumer-accessible DNA testing; 24M, a reinventor of battery technology; and Didi Chuxing, a four-year-old ride-hailing app that’s beating Uber in the Chinese market.”

However, Pontin added, despite many advances, “technology has failed to energize the overall economy.”

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