Smith & Nephew CEO walks back medical device layoffs claim

February 11, 2013 by MassDevice staff

Smith & Nephew CEO Olivier Bohuon says recently announced layoffs aren't the result of the medical device tax, despite previous company statements linking the 2.3% levy with the cuts.

Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew (FTSE:SN, NYSE:SNN) CEO Olivier Bohuon walked back earlier statements blaming roughly 100 layoffs on the U.S. medical device tax, saying the media got the story wrong.

Last week a Smith & Nephew spokesman told that the job cuts were aimed at offsetting the impact of the tax, a 2.3% levy on all U.S. sales that went into effect Jan. 1 as part of the healthcare reform law.

"The nearly $30 billion tax on medical devices that took effect Jan. 1, 2013, has impacted a number of companies across the U.S.," spokesman Joe Metzger told us. "Smith & Nephew is not immune from this added expense burden."

Sign up to get our free newsletters delivered right to your inbox.

But last week, during a conference call with analysts discussing SNN's Q4 and 2012 results, Bohuon contradicted that statement, saying the media got the story wrong.