Cochlear Limited, Sydney, 26 May 2015 (ASX:COH): Cochlear Limited Chairman, Rick Holliday- Smith today announced that Mr Chris Smith is appointed Chief Executive Officer/President effective 1 September 2015. Dr Chris Roberts, who has been Chief Executive Officer/President since 1 February 2004, will step down at the end of August, 2015. Chris Smith will become Deputy CEO from 1 July 2015, allowing Chris Smith and Chris Roberts to effect a smooth transition.
Mr Holliday-Smith said the Cochlear Board had been discussing succession planning for some time and believed Mr Smith would bring a deep understanding of the company, its customers and hearing healthcare professionals.
Mr Smith is the current President of Cochlear North America, Senior Vice President of Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions and Senior Vice President of Global Support Operations. He has more than 10 years of executive experience at Cochlear. He will relocate to Sydney to take up the CEO position.
Mr Smith said it was a great honour for him to be appointed Cochlear CEO and President. “Cochlear is an extraordinary company with a proud history. 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.”
Mr Holliday-Smith said: “Dr Roberts leaves Cochlear with the Board’s best wishes and thanks. He has done a remarkable job in the more than 11 years as CEO; trebling cochlear implant unit sales and revenues and quadrupling net profit and the share price.”
“His commitment to innovation has helped maintain Cochlear as global market leader. Over the last two years, Cochlear has released a comprehensive range of new products and services across its portfolio.”
Dr Roberts said: “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 and our recipients and healthcare professional partners.”
“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 of thousands of people hear. The company is ideally placed to grow and continue bringing the gift of hearing to many more people around the world.”