In addition to his current responsibilities for Medical Devices, Ford, 45, will assume responsibility for all of Abbott's operating businesses. Ford will continue to report to Miles D. White, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Abbott.
Ford has held various management positions across several of Abbott's businesses, including Diagnostics, Nutrition and Medical Devices. As head of Abbott's Medical Devices business for the past three years, Ford oversaw the integration of the St. Jude Medical acquisition, the largest acquisition in Abbott's history. He previously led Abbott's Diabetes Care business and the launch of Abbott's revolutionary glucose monitoring system, FreeStyle Libre.
"Robert is a strong leader who consistently demonstrates Abbott's successful management philosophy and strategy, and has a successful track record of delivering business results," said White.
Ford originally joined Abbott in Brazil and earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Boston College and a master's degree in business administration from the University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business.