A Retirement Revolution? Covidien CEO is the Latest to Leave Job
The executive exodus continues. Barely a month after Smith & Nephew plc CEO David Illingworth announced his retirement, Covidien’s top boss followed suit by going public with his decision to leave the Dublin, Ireland-based firm in July. Richard J. Meelia, who has led the healthcare products manufacturer since its 2007 spinoff from Tyco International, has agreed to remain with the company for up to one year, serving as non-executive board chairman. He was elected board chairman in October 2008.
“Rich Meelia has been a strong and highly effective leader, and his service as CEO is deeply appreciated,” Timothy M. Donahue, Covidien’s lead board director, said in a news release. “Under his leadership, Covidien has introduced innovative new products, realigned and strengthened its portfolio, reduced costs, developed management talent and created increased value for shareholders.”
Meelia, 62, officially will step down from his post on July 1, leaving Jose Almeida in charge. The 48-year-old—currently the head of Covidien’s medical devices franchise—is being promoted after running the company’s largest division for more than four years. The medical devices unit became a key part of Covidien’s long-term growth strategy as the company reshaped its portfolio through acquisitions and divestitures following its separation from Tyco.
Almeida will join Covidien’s board of directorsin his new role. He has been with the company since 1995, when it was known as Tyco Healthcare.
Donahue said Covidien’s new chief executive has an “outstanding track record of achievement.” In prepared remarks, he said of Almeida: “His comprehensive knowledge of our business and his decisive management style make him uniquely qualified to lead Covidien into a new era of strong profitable growth.”
Under Almeida’s leadership, sales in Covidien’s medical device segment grew at a 9 percent compounded annual rate, executives noted. The device division accounts for about two-thirds of the company’s total sales but three-quarters of its operating profit.
Piper Jaffray analyst Thomas Gunderson called Meelia’s retirement a “mild surprise,” but told The Wall Street Journal that Almeida has long been considered a likely successor. He said the change in leadership should not spur any short-term strategic changes at the company.
Meelia’s retirement announcement is the latest in a string of such proclamations by medical device executives. Ripples from the rising retirement wave have reached five other CEOs and the board chairman of B. Braun Melsungen AG over the last eight months. Coupled with resignations from the CEOs of Beckman Coulter Inc. and DePuy Orthopaedics, the glut of retirements is creating a fertile job market for experienced device executives.
Consequently, managers such as Olivier Bohuon and F. Michael Ball had little trouble switching employers recently. Bohuon, 52, took over for Illingworth at the end of Smith & Nephew’s annual general meeting on April 14, while Ball, 55, succeeded Hospira Inc. CEO Christopher Begley on March 28. Both new CEOs are experienced corporate managers—Bohuon had been the top executive at French drug-maker Pierre Fabre SA since Sept. 1 and previously ran the pharmaceutical business of Abbott Laboratories, while Ball held a variety of management positions at Allergan Inc. over the last 16 years, most recently serving as president.
“From the outset of our CEO search, the board and I were determined to identify a candidate who would extend Hospira’s growth trajectory, expand our global reach, and inspire our employees…” Begley said in prepared remarks. “With his proven track record of growing complex global businesses, demonstrated success in leading diversified healthcare portfolios and strong commitment to creating value for all company stakeholders, we found the perfect fit with Mike Ball.”
Some companies are still searching for that perfect fit: Beckman Coulter Inc., DePuy Orthopaedics, DJO Global Inc., Medtronic Inc. and Spectranetics Corporation all have initiated searches for new CEOs in the last six months. DePuy executives have released little information about a possible successor to its worldwide president, David Floyd. A spokeswoman would not even give a reason for Floyd’s departure, saying only that Floyd left his job to “pursue interests outside the company.”
Retirement speculation has dogged the CEOs of 3M and Johnson & Johnson in recent months, but both companies have dismissed the rumors. William Weldon, J&J’s head honcho, himself rebuffed conjecture several weeks ago, telling Bloomberg News that he will retire only after quality control issues and manufacturing problems at his company are fixed. “That’s to me, what is first and foremost in my mind,” he said.
Fisnar Hires New Manager to Facilitate Global Expansion
Automatic liquid dispenser manufacturer Fisnar Inc. is counting on its new hire to help expand the company’s presence in Asia.
Eric Choi has joined Ellsworth Corporation as the managing director of Fisnar Asia. In his new role, Choi will help consolidate and grow Fisnar’s Asian business and establish the division as the global supply hub for Wayne, N.J.-based Fisnar.
“Eric’s addition comes at a time when Fisnar is significantly concentrating sales and business development efforts in new Asian markets,” James Dornan, managing director of Fisnar’s global operations, said in a news release. “Eric’s thirty-plus years of sales and management experience will be extremely valuable to building our business and will prove beneficial as we further penetrate the Asian market.”
Kelvin Wu, managing director of Ellsworth Adhesives Asia, said Choi’s familiarity with the Asian market will help strengthen Fisnar’s presence in Asia and enable Ellsworth to continue its global expansion as well.
Fisnar joined the Ellsworth group of companies in 2008. The Germantown, Wis.-based Ellsworth Corporation brands itself as one of the world’s largest distributors of specialty chemicals. Its adhesives distributor (aptly named Ellsworth Adhesives) supplies manufacturers with adhesives, sealants, conformal coatings, encapsulants, specialty chemicals and ultraviolet curing equipment as well as dispensing products, equipment and accessories.
Paragon Names NewChief Compliance Officer
Paragon Medical Inc. is raising its quality standards. The Pierceton, Ind.-based company has hired Michael Gosmeyer as chief compliance officer and vice president of quality and regulatory affairs.
In his new role, Gosmeyer will oversee Paragon’s quality compliance efforts around the world. He joins the company from Hill-Rom Services Inc., a Batesville, Ind.-based supplier of hospital beds and stretchers. Gosmeyer spent the last few years at Hill-Rom managing and overseeing the company’s worldwide regulatory and quality systems as well as its interface points with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. His other positions with the firm include director of quality assurance, where he supervised manufacturing operations in Europe, Mexico and the United States.
In addition to his quality management experience, Gosmeyer brings to his new position a strong engineering background and a comprehensive knowledge of Lean manufacturing principles. He has held various engineering management positions in the course of his career, overseeing product engineering, design assurance, product life-cycle management and continuous improvement. Gosmeyer is Six Sigma Greenbelt certified.
“This position demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the medical device industry’s quality and regulatory compliance requirements and our conviction to ensure that our products and services meet and ultimately exceed our customers’ desires and expectations,”
Paragon Chairman, President and CEO Tobias Buck said in prepared remarks. “Mike brings an outstanding level of experience, skills and perspective to Paragon Medical that will only enhance the products we manufacture.”
Gosmeyer holds an MBA and a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
Paragon Medical is a Tier 1 supplier of cases, trays, surgical instruments, implantable components and design services to medical device manufacturers.
AdvaMeDx Strengthensits Management Team
AdvaMeDx has added a veteran policy analyst to its ranks.
Tharini Sathiamoorthy is the group’s new associate vice president, according to a news release from the organization. Sathiamoorthy brings a decade of experience in public and government affairs and health policy analysis to the position, having served most recently as senior associate in the health policy practice at global public affairs firm APCO Worldwide Inc. During her tenure at APCO, Sathiamoorthy performed federal policy outreach and analysis work and crafted stakeholder and ally development programs for various clients, including medical device and diagnostics manufacturers.
Before she joined APCO, Sathiamoorthy managed Medicare and Medicaid projects for two healthcare advisory firms—The Lewin Group, a 15-year-old company based in Falls Church, Va., and The Marwood Group, headquartered in New York, N.Y. Earlier in her career, Sathiamoorthy coordinated government affairs and health policy activities for the American College of Physicians, a Philadelphia, Pa.-based national group of internists whose 130,000 members include internal medicine subspecialists, internists, medical students, residents and fellows. She also was a legislative analystfor Dean Blakey & Moskowitz, a management consulting services firm based inWashington, D.C.
“Tharini’s extensive expertise working with federal policy makers, providing health policy analysis and developing strategic alliances will be instrumental in advancing the advocacy efforts important to AdvaMeDx,” Andrew Fish, AdvaMeDx executive director, said in a prepared statement. “Tharini will be a valuable asset in our mission to provide timely patient access to safe and effective diagnostic tests by establishing risk-based regulation and modernizing the antiquated Medicarepayment system.”
AdvaMeDx is a division of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) that focuses solely on in-vitro diagnostic technologies. While the group draws its support from AdvaMed’s vast resources, it maintains its own strategic policy and advocacy priorities, including: developing industry standards and statistics; advocating for domestic and international payment and regulatory policies for the diagnostics sector; and facilitating the adoption of diagnostic devices.