As DeFord retires as CTO, BD plays musical chairs with R&D, life science leaders


Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) is moving up two of its senior staffers into major roles for the medtech company as its chief technology officer John DeFord is set to retire at year-end.

Patrick Kaltenbach will from New Year’s Day become BD’s new executive vice president and chief technology officer, replacing DeFord, who has been at the company for three years and in the business for 35 years.

Kaltenbach leaves behind the role of executive vice president and president of the life sciences segment, which will now go to newly promoted Dave Hickey. DeFord will continue on in an advisory role for the company from next year.

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As CTO, Kaltenbach will oversee the company's recently launched Innovation and Growth Fund to advance BD's strategy and increase investments in priority R&D programs that boost growth. He joined BD back in 2018, coming from a stint running Agilent's largest R&D group, a spinout of Hewlett-Packard, a company he started out with.

RELATED: BD to offer fingerstick antibody blood test for COVID-19

BD, one of the top 10 biggest medtech companies in the world, offers an array of testing and diagnostics but this year has ramped up its R&D for rapid COVID-19 tests.

A few years back, it penned a major $24 billion deal with Bard, which married BD’s portfolio of needles, syringes and drug delivery devices with Bard’s peripheral catheters and ports, plus its 16,000 employees as a wholly owned subsidiary. It also brought with it DeFord.   

“Patrick has distinguished himself throughout nearly three decades in R&D management and business leadership, making him an ideal candidate to continue our drive toward category innovation in alignment with our strategy to Grow, Simplify, and Empower,” said Tom Polen, CEO and president of BD.

“In his time at BD, Patrick has been a thoughtful and enterprising leader, bringing a strong external orientation to help inform our strategy and best position BD to drive growth. He has done outstanding work accelerating the R&D pipeline and unlocking value in the Life Sciences segment, most recently working to ensure our Life Sciences team was well positioned to support the world's response to COVID-19 through a portfolio of innovative diagnostics solutions.”

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