Saunders succeeds Joseph C. Papa in the role, effective March 6, 2023. Papa announced his intention to step down in July 2022.
When Papa announced his plans to depart, the optical and ophthalmic device maker appointed Thomas W. Ross, Sr. to serve as chair. Upon Saunders’ appointment as chair, Ross becomes lead independent director of the company’s board.
To facilitate an orderly transition, Bausch + Lomb intends for Saunders to join in an advisory capacity on Feb. 16. He plans to work closely with Papa throughout the transition period.
Saunders returns to the company, having served as CEO from 2010 to 2013. He brings more than 25 years of leadership in healthcare with him.
“[Saunders’] strong inner-working knowledge of the company and unparalleled executive leadership experience in health care make him the ideal person to lead Bausch + Lomb at this pivotal time in our 170-year history,” said Ross. “We are confident that Bausch + Lomb is well-positioned for the future under Brent’s leadership as the company continues to focus on completing its full separation from Bausch Health.”
In the time between stints at Bausch + Lomb, Saunders served in leadership roles across pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. These include Schering-Plough, Forest Laboratories, Actavis, Allergan and The Beauty Health Company. He remains chair of the board at The Beauty Health Company (BeautyHealth/Nasdaq:SKIN).
“I am honored to once again lead Bausch + Lomb during this exciting time as a new publicly traded company,” Saunders said. “I am confident in our future, and I look forward to once again working alongside the more than 12,000 employees who live by and aspire to achieve the Bausch + Lomb mission of helping people see better to live better.”