Roy Jakobs, the newly installed CEO of Dutch-based conglomerate and medical device maker Philips, apologized to patients and caregivers for the company’s troubled recall of sleep apnea devices.
“The product recall of our Respironics sleep apnea devices let down the many patients who relied on them, as well as the doctors and nurses caring for those patients, for which I am deeply sorry,” said Jakobs, who oversaw the recall process as chief business leader for Philips’ Connected Care unit before becoming CEO.
Jakobs made the comments in a blog post on the company’ website that was his first public statement since assuming leadership of the company on Oct. 15. He is replacing Frans van Houten, who led the company for more than 11 years.
Jakobs did not mention the causes of the recall, which was initiated in 2021, after the Food and Drug Administration received tens of thousands of reports that faulty sound-proof insulation can degrade and be blown through the device into patients’ lungs. The fault was linked to cancers and patient deaths.
Philips has recalled some 5.5 million of its Respironics sleep apnea machines, and has been unable to repair and replace them in a timely manner. The company blames supply chain issues. Further recalls tied to the devices have included connected face masks, whose magnetic snaps can interfere with pacemakers.
Looking ahead, Jakobs said he aims to focus the company’s innovations on precision diagnosis, monitoring and therapies, “underpinned” with what he called “value-adding informatics solutions.”