Bioventus CEO Ken Reali leaves

  • After about three years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Reali
  • Tony Bihl taking over temporarily
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Durham, North Carolina, April 5, 2023 — Ken Reali, chief executive of Bioventus, leaves his position. As announced by Bioventus Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, Kenneth M. (Ken) Reali has left his post as chief executive officer at the medical device company, after about three years in the role, effective April 4, 2023.

The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 7.8 years. This is according to data collected by CEO-exit research firm exechange.

exechange tracks CEO departures at the 3,000 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S., examines the reasons CEOs leave and determines the Push‑out Score™, a measure of pressure on departing chief executives on a scale of 0 to 10.

Bioventus will undertake a search for a successor.

Ken Reali’s duties as CEO will be taken over temporarily by Anthony P. (Tony) Bihl, a former Chief Executive Officer at Bioventus LLC, as Interim Chief Executive Officer.

“Address our performance and execution”

Bioventus did not give an explicit reason for Ken Reali’s departure from the CEO post. William A. Hawkins, Bioventus’ executive chairman, stated: “We are urgently looking to address our performance and execution, unlock long-term value and deliver on the expectations of our shareholders.”

The top three reasons cited in corporate announcements for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (27.8% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (16.3%) and the statement that the time was right for a change (10.3%), according to exechange data. Other motives given for leadership changes included the outgoing CEO’s wish to pursue other opportunities (5.6% of cases), personal reasons (3.8%) and conduct issues (2.2%). Rather rarely stated reasons are health problems (1.6% of cases), disagreement (1.3%), death (1.3%), the desire for more time with family (0.9%) and career change (0.6%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 28.4% of cases, no reason was given.

Precise information regarding Ken Reali’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Stepped down/transition”

Bioventus said: “Ken M. Reali has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and as a member of the Board of Directors (board).”

Bioventus further said: “On April 3, 2023, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Bioventus Inc. (the “Company”) informed Kenneth Reali that it had determined that he would transition from his role as Chief Executive Officer of the Company and, on April 4, 2023, Mr. Reali resigned as a director and officer of the Company.”

“Not related to any matter”

Bioventus stated, regarding the change: “Mr. Reali’s departure is not related to any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practice.”

Share price decline since April 2021

The announcement follows a decline in Bioventus Inc.’s share price of 93% since April 2021.

In the position of CEO since 2020

Ken Reali became CEO of the Company in 2020.

Kenneth M. Reali has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since April 2020 and as a member of the Company’s Board since September 2020.

Reali previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Clinical Innovations, LLC, a medical device company focused on advancing woman’s healthcare, from June 2015 until its successful sale on February 12, 2020.

In this role, Reali led the company through two successful acquisitions by a private equity firm in October 2017 and later to a leading diagnostic and therapeutic medical technology company in February 2020.

Prior to joining Clinical Innovations, LLC, Reali also served as the President and CEO of Baxano Surgical, Inc., a medical device company, from January 2010 until February 2015, leading its turn-around out of bankruptcy.

Reali also held positions of increasing responsibility at several medical device companies, including Biomet, Inc. (now known as Zimmer Biomet) and Stryker Corporation.

Reali also served as Senior Vice President and General Manager within the Biologics and Clinical Therapies business of Smith & Nephew plc from May 2005 to January 2010, a division which was later spun out to become BV LLC.

Reali served as a member of the board of managers of BV LLC from April 2020 until the time of the Company’s IPO.

Reali also currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the Advanced Medical Technology Association, or AdvaMed, an American medical device trade association, and DYSIS Medical Ltd., a medical device company focused on the noninvasive, in-vivo detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions.

Reali also serves on the ethics and health care compliance committee of AdvaMed. Reali also served from 2015 to December 2021 as a member of the board of directors of Ossio, Ltd. an orthopedic device company, where he was a member of the compensation committee.

Reali holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Valparaiso University.

At the time of Ken Reali’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Bioventus, William Hawkins had stated: “Ken’s experience in business development, driving top and bottom line growth while building a compliant culture, global product commercialization and sales of medical devices, combined with strong background in ethics and compliance, market analysis, experience as a CEO in both public and private companies is just the right fit to lead Bioventus.”

At the time of Ken Reali’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Bioventus, Reali had stated: “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Bioventus. The Company’s broad product portfolio, global presence and solid growth have it well positioned to serve the needs of patients and physicians. Even more successes lie ahead and I’m excited to work with the talented Bioventus team to drive strong value for all stakeholders.”

No statement by Ken Reali

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Bioventus Inc., Ken Reali received praise and thanks.

The announcement of his departure as CEO does not include a statement by Ken Reali.

Over the past 12 months, 25% of all outgoing CEOs remained silent in the departure announcement, according to data compiled by exechange. Departing CEOs who did make a statement said an average of 108 words. The longest statement was 510 words. The shortest statement was 23 words. Leadership transitions in which departing CEOs provide conspicuously short or no explanations for their move are statistically associated with elevated pressure and show an increased incidence of Push-out Scores above the critical threshold of 5, according to exechange data.

39% of CEOs are forced out or fired

When CEO departures are announced, exechange determines the Push-out Score on a scale of 0 to 10 to assess how likely it is that the chief executive was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position, with 0 being most likely a voluntary move and 10 being most likely a forced exit. Anything over a 5 indicates that there are valid reasons to believe an executive may have been pushed out.

Of the 320 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (April 5, 2022, to April 4, 2023), the average Push-out Score was 6.1, according to exechange data. References to conduct issues, disagreements and irregularities lead to the highest Push-out Scores. When performance issues, time with family or personal reasons were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.

Around 39% of the CEO departure events from the past 12 months received Push-out Scores of 8 or higher.

In other words, in the past 12 months, three in eight departing CEOs were forced out or fired.

Push-out Score for Ken Reali’s move determined

The Push-out Score regarding Ken Reali’s move is explained point by point in the exechange report.

exechange reached out to Bioventus and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 15.2023 ($).