Boston Scientific Picks J&J Exec as Next CEO

Boston Scientific has plucked its next CEO from the executive ranks of a top competitor. According to various news reports, Michael Mahoney, chairman of medical devices and diagnostics at Johnson & Johnson, will become the president of Boston Scientific on October 17 and assume the role of CEO on November 1, 2012.

According to the reports, Mahoney won't take over until then because of his obligations to Johnson & Johnson. Ray Elliott, who surprised industry observers by announcing that he would bow out after less than two years as CEO, will still step down in October; cardiology group honcho Hank Kucheman will fill the role of interim CEO until Mahoney can assume full control next year. 

In Mahoney, Boston Scientific has nabbed someone that appeared to be on the fast track at J&J. Mahoney had recently ascended to his position there, putting him in line behind Alex Gorsky, who, as the Wall Street Journal speculated, could one day succeed J&J CEO William Weldon. Gorsky will take over Mahoney's former duties.

With Mahoney at Boston Scientific and Omar Ishrak settling in at Medtronic, two of the big medical device players have brought in outside talent to replace retiring CEOs rather than promoting from within. Does this apparent preference for fresh blood signal that these companies are looking to take things in a new direction? The 46-year-old Mahoney is relatively young and could be interested in shaking things up, and Ishrak has already been hailed by some as a new hope for industry. On the other hand, Mahoney cut his teeth at J&J and DePuy, which aren't exactly known for their unconventionality, and, as some commenters on our site pointed out, Ishrak may just be a repackaged version of business as usual. What do you think? Are you familiar with Mahoney? Is this a good move for Boston Scientific? How do you feel about industry's corporate leadership in general? 

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Thomas Blair

 

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