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Olympus Announces Leadership Succession Plan, Leadership Update

Stefan Kaufmann tentatively appointed new Director, Representative Executive Officer, President and CEO as the global medtech leader prepares for the company's next stage of growth.

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Olympus Corporation (Olympus), a global medtech company committed to making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling, today announced that Stefan Kaufmann, the current Director, Executive Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, has been tentatively appointed Director, Representative Executive Officer, President, and CEO of the company effective April 1, 2023. Yasuo Takeuchi, the current Director, Representative Executive Officer, President, and CEO will serve as Director, Representative Executive Officer, Chairman, and ESG Officer. These changes are scheduled to be formally decided by the Board of Directors at the end of March 2023.

Stefan Kaufmann tentatively appointed new Director, Representative Executive Officer, President and CEO as the global medtech leader prepares for the company’s next stage of growth

The leadership transition is intended to strengthen the company’s management foundation as Olympus executes its value-creation plan. Takeuchi has led Olympus’ recent transformation journey to become a leading global medtech company. Moving forward, Kaufmann will lead the company’s resources to elevate the standard of care in targeted diseases and pursue Our Purpose of “making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling” and accelerate its growth.

Yasuo Takeuchi: Celebrated Architect of Change

Takeuchi’s four-year tenure at the helm of Olympus saw the most extensive corporate reorganization in the company’s storied 103-year history. An Olympus veteran with more than four decades of experience with the company, Takeuchi oversaw the transfer of the company’s imaging and scientific solutions businesses and its renewed focus on medtech, with the introduction of a myriad of operational changes and structural reforms bringing improvements in efficiency, innovation, and customer care.

Key achievements include changing the governance structure into a nomination committee structure. This has resulted in an executive management structure consisting of fewer people, which has streamlined the internal decision-making process. Additionally, global governance structure has been strengthened by increasing management agility and enhancing diversity of Board of Directors. Takeuchi has expanded the global research and development network and has comprehensively managed the business on a global scale. He also spearheaded the company’s global business development through acquisitions and early-stage investments to stimulate next-generation innovation.

Despite the volatility of the global economic environment in recent years, Olympus has achieved strong financial results and managed to reach committed targets, and is on track to achieving over 20% consolidated corporate operating margin.

Takeuchi stated: “It has been a privilege to lead Olympus through a historic moment for the company. With the completion of the groundwork of transformation in the first three years since the corporate strategy was announced in 2019, we can now shift to the next phase to accelerate growth and improve performance. I have full confidence that Stefan will continue this momentum. He has been instrumental in implementing the Transform Olympus initiatives and in shaping the future direction of the company to expand our contribution to global healthcare and address unmet needs with gastrointestinal, urological, and respiratory care solutions. After more than 15 years of working closely with Stefan, I look forward to continuing our partnership and to supporting him as he leads Olympus to the next level of growth and organizational efficiency.”

Stefan Kaufmann: Enduring Focus on Growth and Impact

An Olympus veteran with two decades of experience in senior roles, Kaufmann has a background in human resources and a strong track record in driving transformational change for Olympus in the complex Europe, Middle East, and Africa region.

Kaufmann most recently served concurrently as Olympus’ Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, and Chief Transformation Officer, with responsibility for overseeing the implementation of the Transform Olympus program.

“I am honored and humbled at the opportunity to serve as the next Director, Representative Executive Officer, President, and CEO of Olympus,” Kaufmann said. “After years of very successful transformation, we see further opportunities to advance our global operations and processes with a strong focus on elevating the standard of care to benefit our customers and patients. Looking three-to-five years ahead, our key themes will be innovation, research, and development and inorganic growth, competitive performance, talent development, and sustainability.”

From April 2023, Kaufmann will drive the continued expansion of Olympus in the medtech field and prioritize business excellence as the company adapts to changing clinical needs and stricter ESG requirements.

Olympus will retain its strong customer orientation under Kaufmann and will continue to increase innovation cycles through in-house research, acquisitions, investment, and co-creation with industry partners. One of his priorities is the development of the quality and regulatory function toward further maturity, which is critical in the medical industry. He will also focus on evolving the work culture and developing the talent base in both Japan and globally.

Newly Appointed Executive Officers

The composition of the Group Executive Committee (GEC) will be changed following the leadership transition. The roles of Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Operations Officer will be dissolved, while the business leadership of ESD and TSD, Chief Quality Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, as well as the Chief Strategy Officer will join the GEC, bringing a greater diversity of views and industry best practices.

SMEStreet Edit Desk

SMEStreet Edit Desk is a small group of excited and motivated journalists and editors who are committed to building MSME ecosystem through valuable information and knowledge spread.

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