Owens & Minor on CEO search ... again

Craig Smith

Medical products company Owens & Minor ($OMI) is looking for a new president and CEO--less than 6 months after it installed the last one. Prior to that, the company had been helmed by the same man, Craig Smith, for almost a decade. So it may be proving tough to fill his shoes.

The current Owens & Minor President and CEO James Bierman, who is 62, informed the company's board that he plans to retire. The board of directors has initiated a search to replace him using executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. Bierman plans to remain with Owens & Minor until his successor is named.

"Transitioning from one leader to another is a significant event for any company, and we believe it is vital that we identify the right person to lead Owens & Minor into the future," Bierman said in a statement. "Owens & Minor has made great strides over the past several years realigning our organization to become a vital supply chain services provider to the healthcare industry, broadening our addressable market, optimizing our network and capitalizing on expanded manufacturer opportunities."

James Bierman

Bierman started in the position on Sept. 1, 2014; prior to that he had held various executive posts at Owens & Minor since 2007, culminating in the role of President and COO for the company.

In fact, the company just reported its fourth quarter results--the first full quarter under Bierman's leadership as CEO. During his tenure, shares in the company largely treaded water, gaining about 3%.

Prior to Bierman, from July 2005 until September 2014 Smith had seen the company through its evolution into a $2.2 billion market cap company with an increase of almost two-thirds for its share price during that period.

Smith remains the company's executive chairman and chairman of the board. "We are in position to take the time we need to find the best leader for the company. We are confident the company won't miss a beat during this transition," he commented in a statement.

As a parting gift, Bierman laid out ambitious financial goals for the company--in particular restoring EPS growth for the company. He committed to the goal of "achieving annualized earnings growth of 10% over the next three years."

For 2015, that translates into adjusted net income per diluted share of $1.90 to $1.95. In 2014, the adjusted net income was $1.76 per diluted share down from $1.90 for the prior year.

Owens & Minor reported its fourth quarter and 2014 figures, as well as its need for a new president and CEO, after market close on Feb. 17. In early trading on Feb. 18, its shares were down about 2%.

- here are the executive and earnings releases

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