Bausch + Lomb (NYSE:BLCO) announced today that Joseph C. Papa will step down as the company’s board chair and CEO.
The optical and ophthalmic device maker has appointed Thomas W. Ross, Sr., to serve as its chair and has begun the search for a new CEO. Papa will remain as CEO and a member of the board until his successor is appointed.
“Joe has done an incredible job as the former leader of Bausch Health and current leader of Bausch + Lomb,” Ross said in a news release. “He was faced with numerous challenges when he joined Bausch Health in 2016, and under his leadership key matters, including reduction of debt burdens, settlement of legacy legal matters, investment in R&D and new launches, have allowed the company to complete its IPO earlier this year.”
Bausch + Lomb said in the release that it remains committed to the strategy of completing its spinoff from Bausch Health and the departure of Papa from his positions is “not the result of any disagreement with the company.”
“It has been a privilege to serve as the CEO of first Bausch Health, and now Bausch + Lomb, and to work with amazingly talented and dedicated employees who never wavered from our mission of helping people around the world see better to live better,” Papa said. “After six years as CEO, and after accomplishing the IPO of Bausch + Lomb, I believe now is an appropriate time to transition leadership of the company. I am proud of what we have accomplished during my tenure, and I will leave knowing Bausch + Lomb is well-positioned for continued success as it transitions toward being a separate company.”
Bausch Health Board Chair John Paulson added that the company anticipates its spinoff to occur in 2023, following the expiry of customary lock-ups related to its IPO and the achievement of its target leverage ratio.