LivaNova CEO Damien McDonald leaves

  • After about six years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for McDonald
  • William Kozy taking over temporarily
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — London, United Kingdom, April 14, 2023 — Damien McDonald, chief executive of LivaNova, leaves his position. As announced by LivaNova Plc in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Friday, April 14, 2023, Damien McDonald leaves his post as chief executive officer at the medical technology company, after about six years in the role, effective immediately.

LivaNova will undertake a search for a successor.

Damien McDonald’s duties as CEO will be taken over temporarily by William A. Kozy, most recently Chair of the Board at LivaNova Plc, as interim Chief Executive Officer.

“Maintain the focus on growth and profitability”

LivaNova did not give an explicit reason for Damien McDonald’s departure from the CEO post. LivaNova stated: “Effective immediately, Chair of the Board William A. Kozy is appointed interim CEO to help the executive leadership team maintain the focus on growth and profitability.”

The top three reasons cited in corporate announcements for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (27.5% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (16.8%) and the statement that the time was right for a change (9.8%), according to exechange data. Other motives given for leadership changes included the outgoing CEO’s wish to pursue other opportunities (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 28.2% of cases, no reason was given.

Precise information regarding Damien McDonald’s future plans was not immediately available.


LivaNova said: “Damien McDonald resigned as Chief Executive Officer of the Company and as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately.”

Generally, resignations are seen as formally voluntary departures. Still, CEOs may also be pressured to resign. In fact, 82% of the time “resign” was used in CEO departure announcements over the past 12 months, the departing chief executives received Push-out Scores above the critical threshold of 5, indicating elevated pressure.

Share price decline since April 2022

The announcement follows a decline in LivaNova Plc’s share price of 49% since April 2022.

In the position of CEO since 2017

Damien McDonald became CEO of the Company in 2017.

McDonald will remain available to assist with handover activities until the end of May 2023.

Damien McDonald served as CEO and an executive director of the Company since January 2017 and served as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer from October through December 2016.

Prior to joining the Company, McDonald was a Group Executive with Danaher Corporation, a global manufacturer of medical, industrial and commercial products, where he was Group President, Professional Consumables (2013 to 2016).

From 2011 to 2013, McDonald served as Group President of Kerr Corporation, a subsidiary of Danaher, where he was responsible for a dental consumable business with operations in the US, Mexico, Switzerland, Italy and the Czech Republic. In 2010, McDonald undertook special projects for Danaher.

From 2007 to 2010, McDonald was President, Zimmer Spine at Zimmer Holdings, where he was responsible for divisions in the US and France.

From 1999 to 2007, McDonald had various roles with Johnson and Johnson.

McDonald holds bachelor’s degrees in pharmacy and economics from the University of Queensland in Australia, a master’s degree in international economics from the University of Wales, and an M.B.A. from the Institute for Management Development in Lausanne.

No statement by Damien McDonald

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of LivaNova Plc, Damien McDonald received praise, thanks and good wishes.

The announcement of his departure as CEO does not include a statement by Damien McDonald.

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 109 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.

40% 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 316 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (April 14, 2022, to April 13, 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 40% 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, two in five departing CEOs were forced out or fired.

Push-out Score for Damien McDonald’s move determined

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

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 16.2023 ($).