White, who has been at the head of Abbott for 20 years, named long-time exec Robert Ford as the company’s president and COO, according to the report.The appointment marks the first time an official has served as a number two exec at the company in more than a decade.
Ford previously served as exec VP of Abbott’s medtech division, which is now the company’s largest business, Forbes reports.
Despite the appointment, which White told analysts was a “succession step,” he said that he doesn’t have any plans to leave his position as chair and CEO “anytime soon,” according to the report.
“One of the things that I think any good leader’s got to do with his company is make sure that there is always good, strong succession, building, growing, et cetera, in the company. And that applies to me too. So I think for the continuity of the performance of this company, the continuity of its strategy, the continuity of its sustainable growth rates and so forth going forward, that’s important,” White told analysts during the company’s third quarter earnings call, according to Forbes.
Earlier today, Abbott said that it won FDA approval for its HeartMate 3 left ventricular assist device, now approved as a destination therapy for patients with advanced heart failure.