Invacare restructures management

Monday, February 28, 2005

ELYRIA, Ohio - Acknowledging that Invacare “is now a global business,” the HME manufacturing titan recently underwent extensive managerial restructuring to reflect its international scope. Under the new configuration, Invacare is poised to “more aggressively develop new markets and channels while addressing cost reduction issues on a global basis,” company officials said.
Mal Mixon

Due to the success of the HomeFill II oxygen system, respiratory is Invacare’s fastest-growing product area, and under the umbrella of the newly formed Global Respiratory Products Group the company is looking to enhance sales of the oxygen transfilling unit and its new sleep apnea line featuring the Polaris EX CPAP device and Twilight mask.

“Respiratory is set up as a global business compared to mobility, which is subject to local requirements,” Lou Slangen, senior vice president of global market development, said about the company’s decision to push its respiratory line internationally. “The HomeFill II is the model for low-cost products in the market, and Invacare wants to be known as the low-cost producer on a worldwide basis.”

Dan Reuvers, whom company officials credit with “a proven track record of growing market share and strengthening financial results” with respiratory companies Advanced Respiratory and Vital Signs, has been appointed president of the Global Respiratory Products Group. In his new position, Reuvers will report to Gerry Blouch, president and COO.

Reuvers’ appointment heads up a long list of management changes under Invacare’s new organizational model, designed to fortify corporate operations as the manufacturer pursues its new international direction, said CEO Mal Mixon.

“A lot of the people originally managing in the U.S. have had no worldwide responsibility, but now it’s a global business,” he said. “We are managing a rapidly growing company. It’s one thing to go from $10 million to $20 million, but when you go from $1 billion to $2 billion, you need a different control system. We have to evolve if we are going to remain competitive.”

Mixon forecasts that Invacare’s revenues will surpass $2 billion by the end of 2006.

Looking over the flurry of changes, Mixon and Slangen pointed out that the restructuring has not caused any layoffs and that employment stability has been a badge of honor at Invacare.

“Six or seven of our top managers have been with the company for 17 years or more,” Slangen said. “It has been the same management team that has overseen all the positive changes at the company over that time.
Invacare’s revamped management
- Mike Parsons, long in charge of domestic sales, has been named vice president of sales development and reports to Slangen. He is charged with working on sales and marketing strategies for all of Invacare’s divisions.

- Current CFO Greg Thompson has been named president of the Home Medical Equipment Group. He retains his CFO responsibilities while serving in his new role with the HME Group, which markets the company’s custom rehab and consumer power products, and standard products, including IVC wheelchairs, beds and personal care products in North America.

- Brian Ellacott has been named vice president of sales and marketing for HME Group and will report to Thompson. With Parsons assuming his new position, Ellacott is taking on direct responsibility for managing the company’s North American sales forces, including both the HME Group product line, as well as the company’s respiratory products, which are now part of the Global Respiratory Products Group. Company regional managers and vice presidents for sales will report directly to Ellacott. Invacare will continue to offer Total One Stop Shopping to HME providers in North America.

- Matt Mullarkey, who recently served as vice president of the HME Group, has been promoted to the position of vice president for Global Operations and Supply Chain. In his new role, Mullarkey is responsible for North American and Asian manufacturing, purchasing, logistics, information systems, production planning, vendor management and sourcing on a global basis, while working with management to improve quality and reduce cost. He reports to Blouch.

- In the area of global product development, Neal Curran has been appointed vice president of technology and intellectual property. Curran, who most recently served as vice president of engineering for the HME Group, has been assigned to ensure a smooth transfer of knowledge from research and development to product development on a global scale. He also will lead the development and implementation strategy for Invacare’s intellectual property. He reports to Slangen.