The 54-year-old Kaufmann, Cardinal’s chief financial officer, will succeed George Barrett. Barrett, 62, the company’s chairman and CEO since 2009, will serve as executive chairman through the annual shareholders meeting next November. Lead independent director Gregory Kenny will then assume the role of nonexecutive chairman.
Kaufmann is a 27-year veteran of Cardinal with responsibility for all financial activities in addition to overseeing global sourcing for both the pharmaceutical and medical segments.
As a member of Cardinal’s senior executive team, he has played an important role in developing and executing company strategy. He was instrumental in key initiatives, including the company’s 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. He previously held senior commercial and operational leadership positions across the pharmaceutical and medical businesses.
“A critical responsibility of our board of directors is thoughtful succession planning,” said Kenny. “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. 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.”
Kenny expressed “great appreciation for George’s leadership,” saying, “we will continue to benefit from his contributions as chairman. 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, while establishing a culture committed to patient welfare and the highest ethical standards.”
Barrett commented, “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. 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. 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.
“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. 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.”
Kaufmann said, “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. 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, while never losing sight of our ultimate goal of supporting our partners in the critical work they do serving patients and their families.”
Jorge Gomez, 50, will succeed Kaufmann as CFO. Gomez, senior vice president and CFO of Cardinal’s medical segment, had been CFO of the pharmaceutical segment, as well as company treasurer and controller. Prior to joining Cardinal 12 years ago, Gomez spent close to 10 years with General Motors, where he served in a variety of financial roles.
Kaufmann commented, “I have worked with Jorge closely for many years, and I trust and respect him deeply. I’m thrilled that the board has endorsed this important promotion, and I look forward to continuing to work with him to achieve Cardinal Health’s strategic and business objectives in the years ahead. He has proven himself in the most senior finance roles in our two core businesses, and his extensive financial experience and familiarity with our business will make him an invaluable partner for me as Cardinal Health’s next CFO.”