- B. Braun Medical will begin 2020 with a new chief executive, the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based medtech announced Monday.
- Jean-Claude Dubacher, who joined B. Braun Medical as president in August, is slated to take over CEO and chairman responsibilities Jan. 1 from Caroll Neubauer, who will continue as CEO and chairman of B. Braun's other U.S. companies focused on interventional systems, surgical instruments and medical tools, and compounding services.
- B. Braun Medical, whose equipment specialties include infusion therapy, pain management and dialysis, is coming off a year of investments in manufacturing and new bloodlines for its dialysis business.
B. Braun is the latest major medtech to announce a key C-suite shake-up in recent months.
Medtronic said in August CEO Omar Ishrak will pass the torch to Restorative Therapies Group head Geoff Martha come April 27. BD announced in September its COO, Thomas Polen, will transition into the CEO role Jan. 28. Last month, Abbott also promoted its COO, Robert Ford, to CEO effective March 31, ending the 21-year tenure of Miles White. And U.K. robotic surgery medtech CMR Surgical announced last week it recruited outside talent, industrial robot business expert Per Vegard Nerseth, to take over as CEO Jan. 1.
The last decade of Dubacher's career has been largely centered around vision medtech. Dubacher most recently spent about two and a half years leading commercial operations for Johnson & Johnson's surgical ophthalmology division in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Before that, he spent seven years in Abbott's medical optics unit, which was folded into J&J in 2017. J&J Vision is now getting its own leadership shake-up, with Warren Foust, former worldwide president of J&J's breast aesthetics business, Mentor, recently appointed head of surgical vision.
Prior to Dubacher's arrival this year, B. Braun Medical acquired NxStage Medical's bloodlines business, which shored up Federal Trade Commission concerns over the combination of Fresenius and NxStage.
In May, the company announced a major expansion of its IV therapy manufacturing facilities, planning to invest $1 billion in new and existing plants in Florida, California and Pennsylvania.
Like other U.S. device manufacturers this year, the company has had to address its use of ethylene oxide sterilization. B. Braun Medical conducts EtO sterilization at an Allentown, Pennsylvania manufacturing facility, and said in July its EtO emissions have declined in the last several years. Pennsylvania lawmakers and residents have continued to raise concern that emissions from the facilities, even if within legal limits, puts nearby persons at greater risk for developing cancers.
"As part of our normal business and regulatory process, we have routine communications with the US EPA and PA Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) relating to our manufacturing operations. Neither the EPA nor the PA DEP have raised any compliance concerns to B. Braun regarding our EO emission levels," the company's July 18 statement said. "We would not operate our facility if we believed our operations created an unsafe environment for our employees or our neighbors."