QuidelOrtho ousts CEO Douglas Bryant after 15 years

In the wake of a full-year earnings sheet that showed an 8% year-over-year drop in revenues and a major slump in operating income that sent its net earnings into the red, QuidelOrtho is making some changes at the top.

The company’s board of directors has opted to terminate its chief executive, Douglas Bryant, effective Wednesday, per a QuidelOrtho announcement that morning. In addition to losing his roles as president and CEO, Bryant has also stepped down from the board.

Bryant had led the company for almost exactly 15 years, starting at Quidel in 2009 and overseeing operations through its $6 billion merger with Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, which was completed in 2022. Prior to joining Quidel, he was CEO of Luminex for just under two years and had spent more than two decades at Abbott.

“Now is the time for a change in leadership that can accelerate our initiatives to improve efficiencies, drive growth and increase shareholder value,” Kenneth Buechler, Ph.D., chairman of QuidelOrtho’s board, said in the release. “All of us would like to thank Doug for his years of dedication and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

A permanent successor to Bryant hasn’t yet been named. As the search begins—with QuidelOrtho looking both internally and externally for its new CEO, per its announcement—the company’s board has assembled a group dubbed the Office of the Chief Executive Officer, which includes its commercial, operating and financial heads.

Within the newly formed office, Chief Commercial Officer Michael Iskra has been named interim CEO, while COO Robert Bujarski is temporarily filling the president position—while both continue to hold their existing roles alongside the interim appointments.

The CEO's ouster came barely a week after QuidelOrtho released its first full-year earnings report since the megamerger.

In it, the company tallied total 2023 revenues of just under $3 billion, about 8% below the $3.27 billion it reported a year prior, which included Quidel and Ortho’s individual revenues in the months before their combination was completed in May 2022.

Meanwhile, QuidelOrtho’s operating income plummeted: from nearly $844 million at the end of 2022 to $139 million a year later. Alongside that drop, its net earnings fell into the negatives, going from nearly $550 million in net income after 2022 to a $10 million loss in 2023, thanks in part to the $113 million in integration-related charges weighing on the year’s balance sheet.

QuidelOrtho noted in this week’s release that the CEO switch-up hasn’t changed its 2024 financial outlook; as it stands, the company is expecting this year’s revenues to land between $2.76 billion and $3.07 billion, representing anywhere between another 8% year-over-year drop up to a 2.4% improvement.