Jan. 11--Olympus Corp. of Japan is undergoing some changes, aiming to drive cost savings and generate growth through the strong U.S. market for medical devices.
That point was reinforced Friday, when the company announced it was elevating several executives at Olympus Corp. of the Americas in Center Valley to senior-level global roles.
That includes Nacho Abia, president and CEO of Olympus Corp. of the Americas. Abia will keep that position but also assume the role of co-head of the newly created Therapeutic Solutions division. Abia also will be responsible for global business development across the medical, scientific and imaging units of Olympus.
In addition, Richard Lebitz, the executive director of internal audit for Olympus Corp. of the Americas, has been appointed to serve as the global chief internal audit officer of Olympus. Lastly, Mark Miller, Olympus Corp. of the Americas' vice president of corporate and medical communications, will serve as the company's global chief communications officer and the regional head of communications for the Americas.
The three promotions are effective April 1. Abia, Lebitz and Miller will remain based in Center Valley.
"My colleagues and I are delighted to assume our new global roles within Olympus, which continues to adapt to meet the needs of the rapidly changing international markets," Abia said in a statement.
"In our new positions, we look forward to leveraging the experience and expertise we have developed at Olympus Corp. of the Americas in order to support Olympus' worldwide growth and to execute the company's increasingly global vision."
News of the promotions came a day after Olympus announced a "comprehensive transformation program to continue its development as a global medical technology company and drive improved performance, accelerating value creation for all stakeholders."
The nearly 100-year-old company also is nominating three new board members, including D. Robert Hale, a partner at U.S. hedge fund ValueAct Capital. ValueAct, Olympus' largest shareholder, began building a stake in the company more than a year ago, Reuters reported.
Further, Olympus Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Yasuo Takeuchi will be named company president and CEO. Current President Hiroyuki Sasa will transition to board director, as of April 1.
One major part of the reorganization is the simplification of Olympus' medical device business from five parts into two global divisions: Endoscopic Solutions and Therapeutic Solutions.
The Endoscopic Solutions division, a leader in endoscopes, will continue to be managed from Japan.
But the Therapeutic Solutions unit will be managed from the United States by Abia and fellow co-head Tomohisa "Tomo" Sakurai, who moved from Tokyo to Center Valley in the fall.
That allows the division, which consists of single-use therapeutic devices for the gastrointestinal and respiratory fields, along with urology, gynecology and ear, nose and throat products, to be located in the largest therapeutic device market with better access to customers.
Olympus Corp. of the Americas, which relocated from Long Island, N.Y., to Center Valley in 2006, has about 1,000 employees across two Lehigh Valley facilities.
The company's Center Valley headquarters handles sales, marketing, management and support services for North and South America, and Olympus also has a distribution center in Breinigsville.
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