Sonova Holding AG—a Swiss-based company that provides hearing solutions—announced the retirement of CEO Lukas Braunschweiler after six years with the company and a total of 15 years as the CEO of a public company. Arnd Kaldowski will initially join the Group as COO on October 1, 2017, and assume the CEO role after a transition phase on April 1, 2018. Kaldowski, a 50-year-old German citizen, joins Sonova from Danaher Corporation, where he has served in various leadership capacities since 2008, most recently as Group Executive Diagnostics Platform and President, Beckman Coulter Diagnostics.
In his initial role as COO, Kaldowski will have direct responsibility for all three businesses: hearing instruments, retail, and cochlear implants, as well as for research & development, supply chain, and IT, according to Sonova. Braunschweiler will continue to oversee finance, investor relations, human resources, and communications. Kaldowski will assume responsibility for all functions and take over as CEO of Sonova on April 1, 2018. To further support the long-term continuity in the leadership of the company and to secure his extensive industry knowhow, the Board of Directors will propose Braunschweiler for election as a member of the Board of Directors of Sonova at the Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting in June 2018.
“With Arnd Kaldowski we have gained a proven and successful leader with a strong track record in the healthcare industry. Throughout his entire career, technology and innovation, digitalization, and proximity to the customer were key,” said Robert Spoerry, chairman of Sonova’s Board of Directors.
“Arnd Kaldowski has led significant sales and productivity growth initiatives reflected in an impressive track record of M&A, commercial excellence, and new product introduction,” said Braunschweiler, CEO of Sonova.
In his most recent role as Group Executive Diagnostics Platform and President, Beckman Coulter Diagnostics at Danaher Corporation, Kaldowski had overall revenue responsibility of USD $5.5 billion globally, including direct reporting of the operating companies Radiometer, Leica Biosystems, and Cepheid, and including the heads of HR, legal, finance, business development (M&A), clinical affairs, regulatory, and quality. Before joining Danaher, Kaldowski was SVP, Point-of-Care Solutions at Siemens Medical, following his previous assignments as Investment Director of Atila Ventures and as Manager with the Boston Consulting Group.
Kaldowski holds a Master of Science in physics from the Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, and an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.
“Sonova is an exceptional high-tech company with strong Swiss roots in a very attractive growth market,” said Kaldowski. “I am excited about joining the very experienced Sonova management team and contributing to to the continuation of the Sonova success story.”
“Today, Sonova is in an excellent position,” said Spoerry. “During his tenure, Lukas Braunschweiler has helped to overcome various challenges quickly, and subsequently grew the company together with his team by around 50% even in periods of substantial strengthening of the Swiss franc. This success was very much driven by a focused global growth and expansion strategy, a strong and unmatched technology pipeline, and a second-to-none product portfolio. The well-proven and broad global leadership team of Sonova is poised to lead and expand the Group to the next level in terms of both size and market leadership.”
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