Exagen Announces Appointment of John Aballi as CEO

October 16, 2022

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 17, 2022 -- Exagen Inc. (Nasdaq: XGN), announced today that the company has appointed John Aballi as CEO and President.  Longtime CEO and President Ron Rocca, who took the company public and built a robust growth business, is stepping down after 11 years at the helm. 


The Exagen Board has appointed Mr. Aballi as CEO, President, and a member of the Board. Mr. Aballi is an executive with a broad range of experience in growth-stage companies in the clinical diagnostics arena.  Most recently he served as SVP, General Manager, Urology & CLIA COO at Veracyte, Inc. 


“I am delighted that John has agreed to lead the next phase of growth at Exagen,” said Board Chair Brian Birk.  “He is a leader who excels at operations, is financially and business savvy and is recognized for optimizing productivity and profitability.  John’s experience and insight will enable him to lead Exagen to continued growth and success in the future.”


Birk went on to say, “The Board would like to thank Ron Rocca for his tenure at Exagen, and his many contributions to the success of the company, especially for his success in establishing the company as a leader in the U.S. rheumatology diagnostics field.”


Mr. Aballi, who has 15 years of diagnostic industry experience, is known for transforming commercial and laboratory operations and has broad experience building efficient clinical diagnostics operations.  In his previous role at Veracyte, he was responsible for a business unit of 245 members and led a team that grew the urology unit revenue to $120 million-plus annually.  He also led the implementation of CAP standards across the San Francisco and Austin labs and managed Veracyte’s CLIA laboratory operations.  In his prior position, Mr. Aballi was COO at Decipher Biosciences where he oversaw revenue growth from $12.6 million in 2018 to $39 million in 2020. Mr. Aballi was a key part of the executive team that helped take Decipher from a struggling company to being sold to Veracyte for $600 million in early 2021.  He had P&L responsibility for all aspects of operations including sales, quality management, medical operations, customer service, IT, assay development, billing, managed care, internal expansion, and laboratory operations. 


Mr. Aballi was also responsible for oversight of laboratory operations at Molecular Stethoscope and Genoptix in various senior roles.

“I’m very excited to be joining Exagen as CEO,” Mr. Aballi said. “The company has developed a leadership position in one of the largest fields of medicine. Having spent the past 15 years developing and commercializing diagnostics in cancer, I’m looking forward to bringing that same successful approach to inflammatory and rheumatologic diseases with the incredible team at Exagen.”


Mr. Aballi was a Board Member of PFS Genomics in San Diego, a molecular diagnostic company specializing in proprietary signature development in breast cancer, which was acquired by Exact Sciences in 2021.  He holds an MBA from California Baptist University and dual degrees from UC San Diego in biochemistry and cell biology and economics.  Mr. Aballi will assume his new role at Exagen immediately.