Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (NYSE: EW) today announced that following regular succession planning discussions with the Board of Directors, Edwards' chairman and CEO, Michael A. Mussallem, who recently turned 70, has informed the Board of his decision to retire as CEO in connection with the company's Annual Meeting of Stockholders on May 11, 2023.
At the 2023 annual meeting, Mussallem will stand for election as non-executive chairman of Edwards' Board. He will be succeeded as CEO by Bernard Zovighian, currently corporate vice president and general manager for Edwards' Transcatheter Mitral and Tricuspid Therapies (TMTT) business. Zovighian will serve as president of Edwards Lifesciences effective Jan. 1 until he becomes CEO in May, working closely with Mussallem, the Board and the Executive Leadership Team on a smooth transition.
"It has been a special honor and privilege to lead our team at Edwards Lifesciences for more than 20 years in their immense contributions to helping and advancing care for millions of patients around the world. I am particularly proud of the 'patients-first' culture that is embodied by our employees and the commitment to innovation and excellence that our global teams demonstrate. Our success to date is a testament to our talented executive leadership and passionate global team, and we are well positioned for an even brighter future," said Mussallem.
As part of the planned CEO succession, Edwards has appointed additional members of the company's executive leadership team to new roles, effective Jan. 1. Larry Wood, corporate vice president and general manager of Edwards' Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) business, will take on an expanded role. Wood will become corporate vice president and group president, TAVR and Surgical Structural Heart, where he will have responsibility for both businesses. Daveen Chopra, who has served since 2018 as corporate vice president and general manager of Edwards' Surgical Structural Heart business, will lead TMTT beginning Jan. 1.
Zovighian joined Edwards in 2015 as vice president and general manager of Surgical Structural Heart, which included responsibility for the company's global valve network. He became corporate vice president of the surgical business and a member of the Edwards Executive Leadership Team in 2016. He then assumed the role of corporate vice president and general manager for TMTT in 2018, establishing a global organization focused on transforming care for patients with mitral and tricuspid disease. During his career, Zovighian has launched breakthrough therapies for patients and developed experience across multiple disciplines and general management, including nearly 20 years at Johnson & Johnson in roles such as regional leadership outside of the United States and worldwide president of one of the company's divisions.
"I am excited to have the opportunity to partner with our people around the world to build upon Edwards' patient-focused culture and innovation strategy. Edwards has contributed over the last six decades to the advancement of treatments for structural heart disease and critical care patients, and our robust pipeline of technologies will enable us to help even more patients in the future. I look forward to working closely with the Board, Mike and Edwards' Executive Leadership Team on a smooth transition and further advancing the great work of our global teams," said Zovighian.
"Our Board is confident in the Edwards Executive Leadership Team, which has unmatched experience and a commitment to patient-focused medical innovations globally. We have worked cohesively for many years, collaborating on Edwards' strategy, and I am confident that under Bernard's experienced and passionate leadership, the company will continue its legacy of patient impact, innovation and growth," said Mussallem.