May 10, 2019 / 8:30 AM / 7 months ago

Danish medical equipment maker Ambu sinks after departure of CEO

COPENHAGEN, May 10 (Reuters) - Shares in Danish medical device maker Ambu slumped more than 10 percent on Friday after it surprisingly replaced its chief executive with a new boss hired from Johnson & Johnson.

Departing Chief Executive Lars Marcher had led the company’s successful expansion of diagnostic and life-support devices for hospitals for more than 10 years, focusing on products such as single-use endoscopes.

Ambu said Marcher had resigned and that Juan-José Gonzalez would start as CEO from May 15, joining from a position as president of Johnson & Johnson U.S. subsidiary DePuy Synthes, which makes orthopedic and neurosurgical products.

The company gave no explanation for Marcher’s abrupt departure.

“With Juan-José Gonzalez as CEO, we ensure that Ambu also has the necessary global experience to execute the announced strategy and ensure the successful commercialization of our product launches,” Chairman Jens Bager said in a statement.

Shares in Ambu are up roughly 4,750 percent since he took the helm in 2008. The stock fell 12 percent by 0805 GMT on Friday set for their worst day since November 2018, Refinitiv data showed.

“From a financial perspective with regards to the result, it is difficult to find fault with Marcher’s performance,” said Nordnet analyst Per Hansen.

Ambu said there would be one-off costs of 38 million Danish crowns ($5.7 million) relating to Marcher’s departure — covering his salary for a notice period and share options. It said its financial expectations for 2018-19 were unchanged.

Gonzalez, who is 46, is an American citizen and will move from the United States to Denmark to take up the role. ($1 = 6.6491 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Stine Jacobsen, additional reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdynia Editing by Keith Weir)

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