Stryker Corp. Chief Executive Officer Stephen MacMillan led the company’s expansion efforts and helped the maker of artificial hips and knees navigate an industrywide probe before his resignation yesterday for family reasons.
Curt Hartman, the chief financial officer, will serve as interim CEO while Stryker searches for a permanent successor to MacMillan, 48, who also served as board chairman and president, the Kalamazoo, Michigan-based device maker said in a statement. William Parfet, the board’s lead independent director, was named the nonexecutive chairman.
MacMillan, who joined Stryker in 2003, took over as chief executive officer on Jan. 1, 2005. Under his leadership, Stryker acquired at least a dozen companies, including three in the past year, adding medical implants and surgical products to grow revenue, said Joanne Wuensch, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets in New York.
“He initiated the diversification practices,” Wuensch said in an interview. “He’s been at the forefront of saying, ‘How do I take this company and move it into a very different orthopedic market?’”
MacMillan also guided Stryker through a U.S. Justice Department investigation into the orthopedic industry, as well as four warning letters from the Food and Drug Administration, she said.
Stryker fell 1.4 percent to $53.96 at 4:01 p.m. in New York trading. The stock had increased about 2.5 percent a year since MacMillan became CEO, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company reported Jan. 25 that fourth-quarter profit rose 36 percent on higher sales of medical and neurotechnology products. Sales may climb this year as much as 6.5 percent on a constant currency basis, Stryker said then.
“The board is thankful for Steve’s leadership over the past nine years as the company has continued to grow in the midst of a difficult economic period,” Parfet said in the statement announcing MacMillan’s resignation.
MacMillan’s departure “is not good news” for Stryker, Tao Levy, an analyst at Collins Stewart LLC in New York, said in an interview. “He’s clearly had a good track record since he’s been there. He’s navigated the company well during some very difficult market times. He’s done a good job in growing and diversifying the company over the last couple of years.”
MacMillan called it “an enormous privilege” to have led Stryker during a period of change. “As I look ahead to the next chapter in my life, I remain confident that the team will continue to execute Stryker’s strategy with distinction and that the company will enjoy continued success in the future,” he said in the company’s statement.
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