Veteran General Electric exec to replace retiring Varian Medical CEO

Change is afoot at Varian Medical Systems ($VAR). Timothy Guertin is retiring as president and CEO of the company that makes cancer-treatment radiotherapy medical devices and imaging equipment. Meanwhile, Varian is moving ahead with a large-scale stock-repurchasing plan.

Chief Operating Officer Dow Wilson is slated to replace Guertin in both slots as of Sept. 29, the start of Varian's new fiscal year, joining the board of directors as well. Wilson joined Varian in 2005 as head of the company's oncology systems division. He is a GE veteran executive and ran GE Healthcare's ($GE) information technologies business for a while.

Wilson, a 35-year veteran of the company, won't be gone just yet, however. He'll continue as a non-executive employee until his official retirement in February 2013. In his departure statement, Guertin credits the company with boosting revenue and earnings over the last 7 years and also expanding its product roster in radiation oncology and X-ray imaging.

One of Varian's latest expansion moves happened at the end of April. That's when the company and Siemens Healthcare ($SI) announced plans to globally market each other's diagnostic and therapeutic products, as well as services for cancer devices and equipment to be used with image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery.

Interestingly, Varian said today that it will add former Siemens Healthcare President and CEO Erich Reinhardt to its board of directors. The move is part of the plan to add two seats to the Varian board, making it an 11-member governing body.

Separately, Varian added it will proceed with plans to buy an additional 8 million shares of common stock between Sept. 29, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2013.

- here's Varian's CEO announcement
- read details about the stock repurchase plan