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CEO succession at Cardinal Health

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CFO Mike Kaufmann to take reins from George Barrett

Mike Kaufman_George Barrett_Cardinal Health

Mike Kaufman (left) is slated to take the helm as CEO from George Barrett at the start of next year.

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health Inc. has named chief financial officer Mike Kaufmann to succeed George Barrett as chief executive officer.

Plans call for Kaufmann, 54, to take the CEO reins and join Cardinal’s board on Jan. 1. Barrett will continue to serve as executive chairman through the annual meeting of shareholders in November 2018, at which time lead independent director Gregory Kenny will become nonexecutive chairman of the pharmaceutical distribution company.

“As I approach a decade with Cardinal Health, it feels very natural to hand the baton to Mike, who has been a close and trusted partner to me and an integral part of driving our strategy,” Barrett said in a statement “Mike brings tremendous knowledge of our business, a passion for excellence and a commitment to the values and mission of our organization, and he has the respect of our entire organization.

“The steps we’ve taken to expand our reach and enhance our critical role within the health care industry, including our recent acquisition of Medtronic’s Patient Recovery business, position Cardinal Health well for the future,” Barrett added. “Mike is a superb leader and operator, well-prepared to take the reins and guide us forward to leverage the full potential of Cardinal Health.”

Kaufmann has been at Cardinal for 27 years, joining the company in 1990 and serving as chief financial officer since 2014. Besides having responsibility for all of the company’s financial activities, he has been overseeing global sourcing for both the pharmaceutical and medical segments.

“I am honored to be selected as Cardinal Health’s next chief executive. George and I have worked side by side for years, and I look forward to continuing our partnership over the next year in ensuring a successful transition. George has built a powerful legacy and strategy that I am proud to have helped craft,” Kaufmann stated.

“I look forward to working with him and our incredibly talented and dedicated team to build on the strong foundation we have in place and further enhance the value we provide to all of our stakeholders,” he added, “while never losing sight of our ultimate goal of supporting our partners in the critical work they do serving patients and their families.”

Cardinal noted that Kaufmann has played a key role in developing and executing the company’s strategy and was instrumental in its joint venture with CVS Health, Red Oak Sourcing, where he serves on the board of directors, and the creation of Fuse, Cardinal’s technology innovation center. Before becoming CFO, he held senior commercial and operational leadership posts in Cardinal’s the pharmaceutical and medical businesses.

“We have worked closely with George throughout his tenure on this important process and, under his stewardship, Cardinal Health has developed a strong leadership bench. In appointing Mike as our next CEO, the board has chosen a proven executive with demonstrated leadership skills and deep operational experience,” Kenny commented. “Mike has broad knowledge across key areas of Cardinal Health’s operations and excellent relationships with our customers, our business partners, and the financial community. We are confident that he has the talents and abilities to lead Cardinal Health through our next stage of growth, and we expect a very smooth transition of leadership.”

Barrett has served as chairman and CEO of Cardinal Health since 2009. He came to the company in 2008 as vice chairman and CEO of the health care supply chain services unit.

“It has been a great privilege to lead this exceptional organization. I look forward to working with Mike and helping in any way which furthers Cardinal Health’s success, as well as having the opportunity to devote more of my time to addressing critical issues for our company, our industry, and our communities,” Barrett stated. “I have been fortunate to work with a talented and experienced board, a world-class leadership team, and our 50,000 colleagues around the world whose unwavering dedication inspires me and truly sets Cardinal Health apart in our industry. As a company, we look forward to continuing to have a strong and active voice during this extraordinary time in health care.”

Prior to joining Cardinal, Barrett was president and CEO of North America for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

“We want to express our great appreciation for George’s leadership and are pleased that we will continue to benefit from his contributions as chairman,” Kenny added. “Through his vision and many achievements, George has led the transformation of Cardinal Health into the leader it is today. Cardinal Health has built an outstanding portfolio of market-leading businesses across the health care continuum, positioning the company for continued growth.”

As part of the succession plan, Jorge Gomez, 50, will succeed Kaufmann as Cardinal’s CFO. Gomez currently serves as senior vice president and CFO of the medical segment and previously served as CFO of the pharmaceutical segment, as well as in roles as both the company’s treasurer and controller.


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