Ex-Covidien Head to Take Helm at Baxter

October 30, 2015

Baxter International has tapped Joe Almeida to take over as its chairman and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Almeida, 53, served as CEO of Covidien from 2012 until its merger with Medtronic this year. He will take over for Robert L. Parkinson Jr., who has held these roles for more than a decade.

In a statement, Parkinson touted Almeida’s experience. “His deep understanding of the complex global supply chain will be a great strength for the company as he oversees a broad portfolio of medically necessary products across a geographically expansive marketplace.”

Analysts see the move as a positive.

“With Almeida at the helm, [Baxter] in our view is likely to undergo more significant portfolio reshaping, in a similar vein to the legacy with which he left Covidien,” according to a Leerink research note. “We expect this will include both divesting slower-growth, lower margin businesses and acquiring higher-growth, higher margin businesses.”

Margaret Kaczor and Scott Schaper of William Blair praised Almeida’s performance at Covidien, adding that he “should bring a renewed vitality to Baxter.”

They added that it may take Almeida a few quarters to get settled in at Baxter, but he should help return more capital to shareholders. — Elizabeth Hollis