Stryker Corporation (Stryker) has announced the retirement of John W. Brown as chairman of board and a director, effective December 31, 2009. Brown joined Stryker as president and chief executive officer in 1977 and served in those positions until 2003. He has been a director since 1977 and chairman of the board since 1981. Stephen P. MacMillan, Stryker's president and CEO, has been appointed as the chairman of the board, in addition to his current responsibilities, effective January 1, 2010.
In announcing his decision, Brown commented, “This timing is consistent with my original goal of providing a 5-year overlap with Steve MacMillan. The Company has done very well under Steve’s leadership as CEO since January 2005, in spite of the challenges in today’s economy and the current healthcare environment. We are also extremely fortunate to have a group of strong board members, many of whom have served the Company for a number of years. Additionally, three new members have joined the board during the last few years and are very experienced. This gives me great confidence that the Company is in good hands.”
In recognition of Brown’s contributions to the company, the board of directors has appointed him chairman Emeritus effective January 1, 2010. While he will no longer play an active role with the company, Brown will be available for consultation to the board.
In announcing these changes, the board of directors commented that they were extremely grateful to Brown for his leadership and very pleased that he has agreed to serve as chairman Emeritus. They also added that they were pleased that MacMillan has agreed to take on this additional responsibility and will look to him to ensure the company’s continued success.