Shakeup at St. Jude: Cardio pres. Frank Callaghan to retire as units merge

Frank Callaghan will retire from St. Jude--Courtesy STJ

St. Jude Medical ($STJ) announced a shakeup and reorganization this morning, combining its cardiovascular and implantables divisions into one R&D organization that spans the company.

Frank Callaghan, formerly head of the Minnesota medical device giant's Cardiovascular and Ablation Technologies Division (CATD), is out. Eric Fain, former head of the Implantable Electronic Systems Division (IESD) will lead the newly formed R&D organization.

The shakeup follows a turnaround year for St. Jude that saw its stock rise by more than 70%.

"One reason 2013 was such a successful year for us was that we streamlined our organization, improved productivity, and reduced costs through organizational changes we announced in August 2012," CEO Daniel Starks said in a statement. "The changes we announced today will help us build on that success to further leverage our scale, align on our highest priorities and improve execution of our long-term growth program."

Eric Fain takes over St. Jude's new companywide R&D organization--Courtesy STJ

A recent component of St. Jude's turnaround was its 2013 acquisition of Nanostim. This week the company announced the first placement of that company's eponymous leadless pacemaker in a U.K. patient.

Notably, at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference earlier this month, Starks told an audience he plans for the company to forge ahead with its effort to enter the U.S. market for renal denervation devices--despite Medtronic's ($MDT) high-profile failure there. Meanwhile, Boston Scientific ($BSX) has put its hypertension program on hold.

St. Jude reported profits up 8% for the full year, on sales growth of 4% to $1.4 billion. It was a tough year for St. Jude's largest unit, cardiac rhythm management, with questions about the safety of its Durata ICD leads. Sales in that unit looked up at the end of the year, growing 3% in the fourth quarter, despite a 2% decline on the year.

- here's St. Jude's reorg announcement

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