Smooth Leadership Transition At Cochlear

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

In a smooth transition, hearing implants maker Cochlear (COH) has found its new CEO from within its own ranks rather than look outside.

The company said it had appointed the head of its North American operations, Chris Smith, as its new chief executive.

He will succeeds the long serving CEO, Chris Roberts at the end of September and will become deputy chief executive from July 1 as part of the transition process.

Dr Roberts has been chief executive of Cochlear since February 2004 and has overseen much of its growth around the world, plus the development of new products.

"It is time to hand over the leadership baton. I have worked closely with Mr Smith for more than a decade. I know that he has a deep commitment to the company, our people, our recipients and healthcare professional partners,” Dr Roberts said yesterday.

"It has been a privilege to lead this great global company for over a decade, and to work with so many talented people. In that time, Cochlear has been able to help hundreds ot thousands of people hear.”

COH 1Y – Smooth leadership baton change at Cochlear

Mr Smith is currently president of Cochlear North America, senior vice president of Cochlear bone anchored solutions and senior vice president of global support operations.

He has worked at the company in executive positions for more than 10 years and will relocate to Sydney to assume CEO duties.

Mr Smith said in the statement that Cochlear is an “extraordinary company”.

"Through the development and distribution of our innovative technology and passion and commitment of our employees, we are able to have a positive impact on many people’s lives every day," he said.

Mr Smith will be paid a fixed salary of $1.45 million and will be eligible for short term incentives worth up to $1.45 million and long term incentives worth up to $1.45 million. The incentives payments are based on performance.

Cochlear shares rose 1.3% to $88.66 on the news of the smooth change of leadership.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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