Smith & Nephew CEO Olivier Bohuon prepares for his departure

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • Praise and thanks for Bohuon
  • Search for a successor
  • Bohuon spoke at length and said 98 words

(exechange) — London, United Kingdom, October 09, 2017 — Olivier Bohuon, chief executive of Smith & Nephew, prepares for his departure. As announced by Smith & Nephew plc in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, October 09, 2017, Olivier Bohuon, Chief Executive Officer, leaves the medical equipment company, effective by the end of 2018.

Smith & Nephew will undertake a search for a successor.

Long goodbye

It is a long goodbye. The announcement of Bohuon’s move comes up to 15 months prior to his planned departure from the post of CEO.

In general, a top executive who announces the departure very early may be considered a lame duck.

Lengthy lead times give boards extra time to find replacements, and they also create uncertainty. Would-be successors may jockey for attention and workers may wonder who is actually in charge.

Generally speaking, lame-duck leaders can take a forceful role in selecting a successor and are not expected to launch major shifts.

“To deliver accelerating growth, improved efficiency and further value for shareholders”

A reason for the change was not explicitly given. Roberto Quarta, Chairman, said: “As Smith & Nephew enters its next chapter, the Board is determined to build on this to deliver accelerating growth, improved efficiency and further value for shareholders.”

Precise information about the future plans of Bohuon was not immediately available.


Smith & Nephew said: “Olivier Bohuon … has notified the Board of his intention to retire by the end of 2018, after seven years as Chief Executive Officer.”

Share price rise since September 2011

The change follows a rise in the share price of Smith & Nephew plc since September 2011.

Chaired by Roberto Quarta

Smith & Nephew plc is chaired by Roberto Quarta.

He joined the Board in December 2013 and was appointed Chairman following the election by shareholders at the April 2014 Annual General Meeting.

On the job as CEO since 2011

Olivier Bohuon joined the Board and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in April 2011.

Bohuon holds a doctorate from the University of Paris and an MBA from HEC, Paris.

He started his career in Morocco with Roussel Uclaf S.A. and then, with the same company, held a number of positions in the Middle East with increasing levels of responsibility.

He joined Abbott in Chicago as head of their anti-infective franchise with Abbott International, before becoming Pharmaceutical General Manager in Spain.

He subsequently joined GlaxoSmithKline, rising to Senior Vice President & Director for European Commercial Operations.

He then re-joined Abbott as President for Europe, became President of Abbott International, and then President of their Pharmaceutical Division.

He joined Smith & Nephew from Pierre Fabre, where he was Chief Executive.


As a general rule, when a top manager announces to step aside with no successor in place, it’s a signal that the move was unplanned and too early.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Olivier Bohuon’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 42.2017 ($).