General Business

BD Announces Leadership Succession Plan

Franklin Lakes-based BD’s Chairman and CEO Vincent A. Forlenza will retire as CEO on Jan. 28, following the company’s annual meeting of shareholders. Forlenza will continue on the BD board of directors, serving as the executive chairman.

At that time, Thomas E. Polen, current president and chief operating officer (COO) of BD, will assume the role of chief executive officer and president, effective Jan. 28, 2020. Polen will be nominated for director at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders.

“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. “Tom is a strategic, customer-centric executive, who brings tremendous energy, a deep understanding of the industry and health care 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.”

In his current position, Polen, 46, oversees BD’s three business segments and has responsibility for global research and development, innovation, operations and the commercial organization of the company’s Americas region. As president, Polen led the $24 billion acquisition of C. R. Bard, Inc., in 2017. Polen previously served as president for the BD Medical segment, where he led the $12 billion acquisition of CareFusion in 2015 and the company’s expansion into informatics and digital health solutions. Polen has been with BD for 18 years.

“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,” said Marshall O. Larsen, BD’s lead independent director. “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.”

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