Rich Holliday-Smith, the chairman of Cochlear Limited, announced that Chris Smith has been appointed chief executive officer and president of the company, effective September 1, 2015. Chris Roberts, PhD, who has been the company’s CEO and president since February 1, 2004, will step down at the end of August 2015. Chris Smith will become Deputy CEO from July 1, 2015 to ensure a smooth transition, and will relocate to Sydney to assume the CEO position.

Chris Smith

Chris Smith, incoming CEO and president, Cochlear Limited

In the announcement from Cochlear Limited, Holliday-Smith reported that the Cochlear Board had been discussing succession planning for some time and believed Smith would bring a deep understanding of the company, its customers, and hearing healthcare professionals. Smith is currently president of Cochlear North America, senior vice president of Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions, and senior vice president of Global Support Operations. According to Cochlear, he has more than 10 years of executive experience at the company.

“Cochlear is an extraordinary company with a proud history,” said Smith. “Through the development and distribution of our innovative technology and passion and commitment of our employees, we are able to have a positive impact on many people’s lives every day.”

Chris Roberts, PhD

Chris Roberts, PhD, outgoing CEO and president, Cochlear Limited

“Dr Roberts leaves Cochlear with the Board’s best wishes and thanks,” said Holliday-Smith. “He has done a remarkable job in the more than 11 years as CEO. His commitment to innovation has helped maintain Cochlear as global market leader. Over the last two years, Cochlear has released a comprehensive range of new products and services across its portfolio.”

“It is time to hand over the leadership baton,” said Roberts. “I have worked closely with Mr Smith for more than a decade. I know that he has a deep commitment to the company, our people and our recipients and healthcare professional partners. It has been a privilege to lead this great global company for over a decade, and to work with so many talented people. In that time, Cochlear has been able to help hundreds of thousands of people hear. The company is ideally placed to grow and continue bringing the gift of hearing to many more people around the world.”

Source: Cochlear Limited