Forlenza, who was named CEO in July 2011, is slated to stay on as chairman after he leaves the corner office Jan. 28, 2020, after 39 years with the Franklin Lakes, N.J.-based medical devices giant. Polen, an 18-year BD veteran who worked his way up the ranks, will take over as president & CEO at that time, the company said.
“As we head into the final year of the BD-Bard integration, the board and I have been focused on preparing for the next phase of the company’s growth, and we recognize this is the right time to appoint a successor with the vision, drive and capability to lead BD into the future,” Forlenza said in prepared remarks. “Tom is a strategic, customer-centric executive, who brings tremendous energy, a deep understanding of the industry and healthcare technology, and a strong track record of delivering results. He is passionate about our purpose and BD’s potential to make an even bigger impact in the lives of patients around the world. I have greatly valued our partnership, and the board and I firmly believe that Tom is ideally positioned to drive the company’s continued success.
“We often say BD is a place where you can fulfill your life’s work through your work life, and that has been my experience — every day — for the past four decades. It has been an absolute privilege and pleasure to lead this organization as we’ve transformed and built capabilities that better position BD to solve some of health care’s most pressing global challenges.”
“Today’s announcement represents the culmination of a thorough and thoughtful succession planning process and we are confident Tom’s appointment comes at the right time in the company’s evolution to ensure continuity of strategy, leadership and financial performance,” added lead director Marshall Larsen. “Over the years, the board and I have come to know Tom as a highly strategic, driven and results-oriented leader, who is deeply committed to advancing BD’s purpose, culture and innovation pipeline. He is uniquely suited to lead the company in this next phase, having played a critical leadership role in the formation and implementation of the company’s strategy and transformation.
“On behalf of the entire board, we also want to thank Vince for his leadership during the most transformative period in the company’s nearly 125-year history. During his eight years as CEO, BD built an incredible portfolio of solutions to advance the entire health care continuum, more than doubled annual revenue, and increased market capitalization by more than 300 percent. We believe BD is well positioned for continued growth and success, and we look forward to continuing to partner with Vince in his role as chairman.”
“I am humbled by the trust Vince and the board have placed in me and honored to have this opportunity to lead such a dynamic company as we move into our next phase of growth and impact. I am confident we have the right strategy, an exciting innovation pipeline, tremendous breadth of capabilities, and the most talented and dedicated team in health care. As we move ahead, I believe BD has significant opportunities to continue to accelerate growth and drive long-term value while delivering meaningful results for our customers, patients and shareholders. I look forward to continuing to partner with Vince and our entire team as we work together to fulfill BD’s purpose of advancing the world of health,” Polen said.