St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) said today that longtime chief executive Daniel Starks will leave the corner office at the beginning of next year, replaced by COO Michael Rousseau. Starks will stay on as chairman, the Little Canada, Minn.-based company said.
“St. Jude Medical is moving forward with this leadership succession from a position of strength and, because of this, we believe it’s the right time to make this transition,” Starks said in prepared remarks. “Mike’s vision, expertise and proven track record at St. Jude Medical make him a natural choice for CEO. Today’s announcement underscores our deep bench of talent and, together, we will ensure a seamless transition for the benefit of all St. Jude Medical stakeholders.”
Rousseau has been with St. Jude since 1999, when he was named a senior vice president at the company’s cardiac rhythm management division, and was made operations chief early last year.
“Over the past 16 years, I have had the privilege of working alongside Dan to change the company from being largely dependent on valves and CRM devices to being an industry leader with a diverse disease state management portfolio. With our recent acquisitions and our strong, robust product pipeline, I am focused on remaining steadfast in our commitment to innovation and growth so that we can continue Dan’s legacy of bringing the right solutions at the right time to our customers, while improving patient outcomes and reducing health care costs,” Rousseau said. “This is an exciting time for our industry, and I am highly confident in our ability to continue to deliver technologies that transform patient care in markets around the world. I am honored to assume this leadership role in January and look forward to the opportunity to continue shaping the great legacy of St. Jude Medical.”
Starks was named chairman, president & CEO in May 2004, St. Jude said, and oversaw the growth of the top line from $1.9 billion to more than $5.6 billion last year, the company said.