Smith+Nephew CEO Namal Nawana steps down

Written by Laura Dyrda | October 20, 2019 | Print  |

Smith-Nephew CEO Namal Nawana will depart the company over the next few months as part of a "mutual decision" to pursue other opportunities, according to a statement from the company.

Mr. Nawana will maintain his position on the board until Oct. 31 and provide advice and assistance to his successor, Roland Diggelmann, through the end of the year. "During his time with Smith+Nephew, Namal has substantially transformed the business with a new strategy, purpose and culture and renewed commitment to innovation, returning it to an improved growth trajectory," said Roberto Quarta, chairman of the company.

Smith-Nephew appointed Mr. Nawana CEO in April 2018, just as it was "fending off pressure from activist shareholders for a break-up," according to Financial Times. The company had recently considered moving its share listing to the U.S., which would allow it to increase Mr. Nawana's pay so it more closely aligned with his previous compensation as head of the diagnostics group at Alere.

"On behalf of the board, I am delighted to welcome Roland Diggelmann as Smith+Nephew's incoming CEO. I am certain that Roland's leadership qualities, combined with his excellent track record of delivering results in an innovation-led business, his deep expertise in the medical devices industry and his knowledge of Smith-Nephew make him the right person to build on the company's success into the future," said Mr. Quarta.

Mr. Diggelmann has served on the board of Smith+Nephew as a non-executive director since March 2018, after spending time as CEO of Roche Diagnostics. He also has a background in orthopedics, serving in leadership roles with Sulzer Orthopedics and Zimmer. When he steps into the CEO role on Nov. 1, Mr. Diggelmann will receive a base salary of around $1.4 million and after the new year he will be able to earn up to 150 percent of his base salary in a cash incentive plan as well as access to the annual equity incentive plan and performance share plan awards.

Mr. Nawana will continue to receive his salary and benefits through the end of the year.

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