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CAMBRIDGE, MASS. - January XX, 2003 - Affinnova, Inc., a leading provider of product design and development solutions, today announced the appointment of Robert Meers to its Executive Board. Mr. Meers, a proven corporate leader and consumer goods visionary with over 30 years of International brand building experience, will assist in guiding Affinnova's strategic growth initiatives.

Mr. Meers is currently the president and CEO of Syratech Corporation¨, a designer, manufacturer, importer and distributor of a variety of tabletop and home decoration products. Prior to joining Syratech, Mr. Meers was president and CEO of Reebok International Ltd. At Reebok, he led sales growth to $3.5 billion and helped establish the Reebok brand as the industry leader in product innovation.

Mr. Meers, who began his career at General Foods in 1969, has also held executive branding and marketing positions at Bancroft Sporting Goods/Tretorn Athletic Footwear and Wilson Sporting Goods.

"With decades of executive leadership experience behind some of the world's most recognized sporting goods brands, Robert Meers is a valuable addition to our Board and brings a wealth of market insight and knowledge to our team," said David Andonian, Executive Chairman of Affinnova, Inc. "Robert has a documented history of delivering outstanding results through the identification of emerging consumer trends. He will be a valued contributor as we build Affinnova's business and brand."

Affinnova's solutions are currently used by companies in a range of industries, including consumer packaged goods, retail and apparel/footwear. Affinnova recently announced that AŽropostale, Inc., (NYSE: ARO), a mall-based specialty retailer of clothing and footwear for young adults, will use its patent-pending proprietary IDEATM (Interactive Design by Evolutionary Algorithms) technology to evolve products based upon real-time input from consumers, more quickly and with greater chances of market success than ever before possible.

"Affinnova is at the leading edge of a revolutionary trend in consumer product and brand development," stated Meers. "The Company is unmatched in harnessing 'evolutionary' technologies to help companies design and develop successful products in highly competitive markets. I look forward to helping them grow their business; growth that I believe will have a significant impact on products and brands everywhere."

In 1998, the National Sporting Goods Association named Mr. Meers one of the top ten most influential people in the world of sporting goods. He has served as a guest lecturer at the Harvard Business School and at other leading U.S. universities. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he is an inductee into the University's Sports Hall of Fame. Additionally, Mr. Meers currently serves as chairman of BBM LLC, a family-owned holding company, with major business ventures including A to Z retail Group and Minot I.B.P. International Trading.

In addition to Robert Meers, the Affinnova Executive Board currently includes:
- David Andonian, Executive Chairman of the Board, former president & COO, CMGI
- Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Senior Managing Director and CEO, Flagship Ventures
- David Flaschen, Managing Director, Flagship Ventures

In related news, Affinnova has also announced the appointment of five new members to their Executive Advisory Board, which was created in 2001 to augment the Company's strategic planning and development objectives with outside, independent viewpoints. The new members include: Michael A. Ahearn, Michael Hawley, Robert Weissman, H. Robert Hawthorne and Dr. John Hauser (

About Affinnova, Inc.

Affinnova harnesses the science of evolution to develop optimal concepts, products and brands. The Company's solutions allow consumer-focused companies to successfully compete in an environment where continuous introductions of ever better-designed products are critical to success. Affinnova is privately held and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information about Affinnova, visit

About IDEA™

Affinnova's patent pending IDEA™ (Interactive Design by Evolutionary Algorithms) technology evolves virtual products, concepts, packages and brands based on consumer preferences. IDEA™ technology allows for exploration of wider design and creative spaces, holistic optimization, the identification of interaction effects (feature synergies), and preference-based market segmentation.