Smith & Nephew Chief Executive Bohuon Diagnosed With Cancer

  • Bohuon has `highly treatable' cancer, will remain at helm
  • Treatment scheduled to begin this month, end in late autumn

Smith & Nephew Plc’s Chief Executive Officer Olivier Bohuon has been diagnosed with cancer and plans to remain at the helm while he gets treated.

Bohuon, 57, has a form of cancer that’s “highly treatable” and will stay involved with the London-based company through much of the chemotherapy and other regimens doctors have prescribed, the maker of replacement knee joints and medical devices said in a statement on Monday. Treatment will begin later this month and should be completed by late autumn, it said.

Smith & Nephew ranked as the top European acquisition target for the second year in a row in a Bloomberg survey of traders and analysts published last week. Investors have recent examples of CEOs working through cancer treatments: Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Lloyd Blankfein and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon.

Blankfein said in September he had a form of lymphoma and would undergo chemotherapy while remaining at the helm. Dimon worked through radiation and chemotherapy to check his throat cancer, and told employees at the end of 2014 that he was free of the disease.

Stryker Speculation

A spokesman for Smith & Nephew declined to say what form of cancer Bohuon was diagnosed with. The board has approved provisional governance procedures, including Chairman Roberto Quarta providing executive oversight if required, the company said. The stock showed little change, rising less than 0.1 percent to 1,163 pence at 8:35 a.m. in London.

Smith & Nephew, which has a market value of about $14.8 billion, has been repeatedly linked to a tie-up with U.S. peer Stryker Corp. in media reports. In December, financial blog Street Insider said Stryker had offered about $18 billion for the U.K. company, citing a person with knowledge of the matter who it didn’t name.

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