Philips taps transportation exec in its effort to industrialize, personalize healthcare

Jean Botti

Royal Philips ($PHG) has named Jean Botti as chief innovation and strategy officer in its effort to shift its business to focus exclusively on HealthTech. The conglomerate has been in the throes of this strategy shift for more than a year, but recently was dealt a blow when a deal recently fell through for one of its two lighting businesses that it's working to divest after U.S. regulators objected to the purchase by a Chinese investor.

It's not clear yet when or how Philips will advance its efforts to get out of the lighting business--and that's a key effort being watched by Wall Street since it could unlock billions that could provide the company even more options on the HealthTech front.

The Botti hire is an interesting one, particularly since CEO Frans van Houten spent much of his career within Philips working in non-healthcare businesses. This brings on board another executive who doesn't come out of healthcare, which the company is positioning as an asset since the sector is one of the few major remaining ones to have escaped a massive technology transformation.

"I am convinced that my experience in the automotive and aviation industries in terms of digital transformation and process optimization will support Philips' ambitions to drive the personalization and industrialization of care," said Botti in a statement.

He joins Philips from Airbus Group, an aeronautics, space and related services company, where he's been chief technical officer since 2006. Prior to that, he worked in the auto industry in Europe and the U.S. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in collaboration with the University of Michigan.

"Jean Botti has decided to join Philips on our journey to extending our leadership in health technology, capitalizing on opportunities arising from the consumerization and industrialization of healthcare to transform the delivery of care," van Houten said. "Jean has had a remarkable and distinguished career and his achievements at Airbus are impressive, ranging from his ability to continually improve the company's innovation capabilities and building intelligent systems, to embedding quality across the company's value chain. His track record in driving innovation and change in high-tech industries will prove extremely valuable for Philips."

Philips also appointed Pieter Nota in the newly created role of chief marketing officer, in addition to his position as CEO of Personal Health. It also established Monitoring, Informatics & Connected Care to be led by Jeroen Tas and encompassing Patient Care & Monitoring Solutions, Healthcare Informatics, Emerging Businesses and a newly created Population Health Management business.

- here is the announcement