J. Robert Hurley has been named the interim president and CEO of Beckman Coulter following Scott Garrett's announcement that he is resigning as chairman, president and CEO of the company. Garrett will continue as a full-time non-executive employee of the company through Jan. 15, 2011, according to a company statement. The board is set to start looking for Garrett's successor.
Hurley, who has served as the company's senior VP, human resources and chairman of Beckman Japan, joined the company in 2005. Prior to joining Beckman, he was an executive with Baxter International, leading its operations in Asia for more than eight years.
The Wall Street Journal notes the company has been going through a "rocky period," cutting guidance twice this year amid market weakness and trouble with a test for heart problems. Earlier in the year, the company recalled a test for measuring a protein that signals heart problems due to faulty results, the WSJ reports. And the FDA chastised Beckman because it believes the company marketed that test without required clearance. Beckman is working on a clinical trial to support FDA applications to address the issue.
"While likely a long-term positive, we believe Garrett's resignation speaks to continued instability," says Bruce Cranna, an analyst with Jefferies & Co., in a note to clients, as quoted by Bloomberg. "Beckman Coulter's product quality stumbles are clearly hindering both new sales and customer retention."