Fresenius Medical Care CEO Kriwet leaves 'at her own request' after 2 months

After months of lead-up, Carla Kriwet, Ph.D., lasted only a few weeks at the helm of Fresenius Medical Care.

Kriwet has stepped down from the chief executive post “at her own request and by mutual agreement,” the German dialysis giant announced this week, citing “strategic differences.” She had started the position Oct. 1, months ahead of the Jan. 1 start date originally set in the announcement of her appointment earlier this year.

“In this short time, I have met a fascinating company with a very positive corporate culture that works every day to make patients’ lives more worth living. The company has great growth potential and is about to undergo a major transformation,” Kriwet said in this week’s release, adding her thanks and well wishes to the Fresenius team.

The BSH Home Appliances Group and Philips alum was tapped in May to replace Rice Powell, who had been at Fresenius for almost its entire 26-year life span and served as chief executive for the final decade of that tenure.

Though the CEO shake-up caused Fresenius’ stock to drop a bit—ultimately bottoming out Tuesday afternoon at $15.48, down about 4.5% from its $16.21 closing price the day before—it’s already on the road to recovery. The stock opened Wednesday morning at $15.84 and continued to climb in the first spurt of trading.

Helen Giza Fresenius Medical Care
Helen Giza (Fresenius Medical Care)

Kriwet has already been replaced by Helen Giza through a unanimous vote from the company’s supervisory board.

Giza originally joined Fresenius in 2019 as chief financial officer then tacked on the role of chief transformation officer in 2021. She was further promoted earlier this year—in tandem with Kriwet’s appointment to the top spot—to don yet another hat as deputy CEO, tasked with supporting Kriwet throughout the leadership transition.

Alongside her new role as chief executive, which took effect Tuesday, Giza will continue to serve as acting CFO until Fresenius can find a suitable replacement.

“In a fundamentally sound industry, Fresenius Medical Care now needs to sharpen its focus on the operational turnaround, further drive performance improvements and focus on its core,” said Michael Sen, chairman of Fresenius Medical Care’s supervisory board and CEO of parent company Fresenius. “We are delighted that Helen Giza will take over as CEO.”

Before joining Fresenius Medical Care, Giza held financial leadership roles at TAP Pharmaceuticals, Abbott and, most recently, Takeda. She spent a decade at the Big Pharma, including stints first as CFO of its U.S. business unit and then, for her final year there, chief integration and divestiture management officer across the global business.