Two top managers depart from Amyris, stock $3.07

Richard Brenneman, at Eats Shoots ‘n Leaves, sends this missive:

Here’s the announcement just filed with the Securities and Exchabnge Commission about departures of two leading members of its management team:

On May 1, 2012, Amyris, Inc. (the “Company”) announced the departures of certain members of its management team that were decided on April 25, 2012 as result of organizational restructuring. The Company generally expects these departures to be effective by May 2, 2012 (with formal employment separation dates to be determined) and to include the following executive officers named in the Company’s definitive proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 12, 2012 (the “Proxy Statement”): Mario Portela, President of Global Operations (principal operating officer) and Tamara Tompkins, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. In connection with their departures, these individuals may receive severance compensation consistent with the severance provisions of their offer letters or other employment terms, as described in the “Executive Compensation-Potential Severance Payments upon Termination and upon Termination Following a Change in Control” section of the Proxy Statement. The Company expects to identify successors for these roles in the near future.

So both the chiefs of the global operations and their house lawyer have fled, while the stock continues to hover within shouting reach of it’s all-time low.

The company, started by UC Berkeley “bioengineer” Jay Keasling with money from Bill Gates, failed to meet its target for profitable operations of its agrofuel business and has concentrated on developing costly chemicals for the cosmetics industry.

The company, repeatedly hailed by UC Berkeley and City of Berkeley officials as one of the premiere startups fostered by the university, has turned into a financial black hole for investors, whose stock today was worth just 9.1 percent of what it fetched little more than a year ago.

We’re particularly curious about the departure of the general counsel.