There was a revolving door on medtech’s corner office this year, with more than 35 CEOs leaving their positions through planned transitions, retirement or termination, according to a MassDevice.com analysis.
Having transformed the Irvine, Calif.-based company into a global aesthetics juggernaut, Pyott successfully fended off a prolonged hostile takeover by Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX, TSE:VRX) and Pershing Square Capital Management with a $66 billion buyout by Actavis (ACT). Pyott is slated to leave his post once the Actavis deal closes in early 2015.
Speaking of big exits, there’s Covidien (NYSE:COV) CEO Joe Almeida, who’s said he plans to retire following the close of Covidien’s $43 billion sale to Medtronic (NYSE:MDT). Longtime CFO Charles Dockendorff plans to join Almeida in retirement, the company announced in 2014.
Other notable companies making moves at the top this year included Royal Philips (NYSE:PHG), which cut loose CEO Deborah DiSanzo in a July restructuring; and a nasty proxy battle at ConMed (NSDQ:CNMD) that led to the ouster of founder Gene Corasanti and his son, CEO, president & director Joseph Corasanti. Ex-Stryker (NYSE:SYK) CFO (and, for a time, interim CEO) Curt Hartman took over as ConMed’s CEO in November.
Changes were also made at Insulet (NSDQ:PODD), where longtime CEO Duane DeSisto stepped down after a 13-year run; and GI Dynamics (ASX:GID), which saw the departures of CEO Stuart Randle and CFO Robert Crane, along with a planned 10% cut to its global workforce.
Mike Travis, principal at Travis & Co., told MassDevice.com that 2014 was the recruiting firm’s best in its 36-year history.
"Anecdotally, I think there’s been a good amount of turnover, because the market, at least from my perspective, has been excellent," Travis told us.
The time candidates spend conducting job searches got shorter this year for the 1st time in a long time, he said.
"So people are looking for work for less time. And I’ve seen more people who have multiple offers," Travis noted. "From my perspective, the job market now is normal, by which I mean there’s a relatively even balance of power between employers and candidates, and I think that’s really healthy," Travis said. "For a long time, employers were holding all the cards. But the pendulum’s still swinging, and it’s swinging in the direction of the employees."
Looking ahead to 2015, Travis said that pendulum could swing even further.
"I wouldn’t be surprised, if we were to have this same conversation a year from now, if we were talking about a job market with a decent amount of inflation in compensation and companies really having difficulty filling jobs," he said.