As many of you undoubtedly know, Steve MacMillan resigned as Chairman, President and CEO of Stryker Corporation on February 8, 2012. Steve’s achievements during his almost nine years at the Company were admirable.
Following the impressive track record of John Brown, Steve worked tirelessly to position Stryker for growth in a global marketplace that continues to undergo unprecedented change. These efforts included focusing on enhancing Stryker’s core competencies, expanding our global reach, improving operational effectiveness, broadening our product and service offerings, and positioning the Company as a key resource for all the people who have and will benefit from our products. Steve resigned for family reasons. I have worked with Steve for almost fifteen years, and very closely during the last nine years in my role as Lead Director on Stryker’s Board. We understand and support his decision, and we thank him for his contributions to our Company.
Steve leaves behind a very talented and diverse team of Stryker veterans and accomplished newcomers who are steadfastly committed to a culture of growth and achievement. This is an exciting company with a rewarding future that honors our proud history that began with Dr. Homer Stryker. Yet, we also recognize both the challenges and opportunities that exist in today’s healthcare environment. I know I speak for the entire Board of Directors when I thank all the Stryker employees for their continued dedication and commitment to the great years that lie ahead.
In searching for a new leader, the entire Board will actively participate in a comprehensive search both within and outside the Company for the best possible person to build on the wonderful heritage, legacy and renowned talents of Dr. Homer Stryker, Lee Stryker, John Brown and Steve MacMillan. The effort will be led by the Governance and Nominating Committee, chaired by Louise Francesconi, with the addition of Howard Lance, the Chairperson of the Compensation Committee.
In the interim, the Board has chosen Curt Hartman, a twenty-two year Stryker veteran, and a person of incredible talent, knowledge, and a demonstrated track record of success, to serve as the Interim CEO. Curt has served in a broad range of capacities at Stryker, including building businesses, formulating strategies, finding and integrating acquisitions and always delivering impressive results. Most recently, and still today, Curt serves as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer and has been overseeing the newly acquired neurovascular business. The Board is very confident in Curt’s ability to lead this organization with energy, drive and continued impressive results until a permanent successor is selected.
Change brings opportunity, and in my entire professional career, no company is better able to turn change into terrific opportunities than Stryker. The entire Board of Directors is committed to our management team and dedicated to keeping this great company on its growth trajectory. We work well together, we understand the Stryker heritage and we see a bright future. I would especially like to thank my fellow directors for their ongoing hard work and dedication. It has been an honor to serve on Stryker’s Board for the past nineteen years, and I look forward to serving in my new role as Non-Executive Chairman.
This Company has a remarkable history, and your Board understands the expectations that you have placed on us to protect and perpetuate this history. We have terrific people, products and services that have made this possible. In traditional Stryker fashion, we know what needs to be done, and we will do our absolute best to deliver.
William U. Parfet