Orthofix board gives CEO, other C-suite members the boot for 'offensive conduct'

Orthofix has ousted its CEO and other members of its C-suite after the company’s board voted unanimously to terminate their employment “for cause” following an independent investigation.

In an announcement, the spine and orthopedics company said that President and CEO Keith Valentine, Chief Financial Officer John Bostjancic and Chief Legal Officer Patrick Keran will be replaced after the board of directors “determined that each of these executives engaged in repeated inappropriate and offensive conduct that violated multiple code of conduct requirements and was inconsistent with the company’s values and culture.”

Effective immediately, Valentine’s position will be taken over by Catherine Burzik, who was recently reappointed chair of Orthofix’s board in June. Burzik previously served as chair in 2021 and 2022 before Orthofix combined with SeaSpine through a $700 million deal that closed this past January.

“Orthofix’s core values are built around fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture that is respectful, and we do not condone harassing or inappropriate conduct or statements of any kind,” said Burzik, who will serve as interim CEO until a permanent successor is found.

“We require all employees—and especially our leaders—to behave in accordance with the company’s values,” she said. “The board did not make these decisions lightly. We believe they are necessary to ensure our employees, investors, customers and other stakeholders have confidence in the company’s leaders.”

Burzik also serves on the board of BD and holds the title of chairman emeritus at both StemBioSys and the American College of Wound Healing and Tissue Repair.

Meanwhile, the title of interim CFO will pass to Geoffrey Gillespie, who has been a vice president and corporate controller at Orthofix since May 2021. Puja Leekha, who joined the company this year as a senior VP and chief ethics and compliance officer, will serve as interim chief legal officer.

The company has also canceled its plans to present tomorrow at the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Conference in New York City and will postpone its own investor day scheduled for Sept. 20. Orthofix’s stock price dropped about 25% following its announcement, down to about $13.56.