Respironics CEO Spence moves on; former CEO Liken joins Vapotherm

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. -- Philips Respironics CEO Don Spence will leave the company May 8 to become president and CEO of Accellent, a provider of outsourced precision manufacturing and engineering services to the medical device industry.

Philips Respironics, a manufacturer of sleep and respiratory products, plans to introduce Spence's successor sometime next month, a company spokesperson told HME News today.

Spence replaces Robert Kirby, who resigned in November 2009.

"Don brings proven leadership abilities to Accellent grounded in the

healthcare, life sciences and automotive industries," said Accellent Chairman Kenneth Freeman. "He has a reputation for strong customer focus with an exceptional ability to translate market needs and specific customer requirements into sustained profitable growth."

Spence, 56, joined Respironics in 2005 as president of the sleep and home respiratory group. He became CEO in 2008 after Royal Philips Electronics acquired the company and then-CEO John Miclot departed.

Spence began his career as a financial analyst at Ford Motor Company. Since then he has served in various roles in the medical device and automotive industries, including strategic planning, operations, global marketing, sales and senior management.

In other Respironics-related news:

Respiratory products manufacturer Vapotherm elected former Respironics CEO Jim Liken to its board of directors.

Liken served as president and CEO of Respironics from August 1999 through December 2003. He steered the company through a difficult post-merger period, refocused it on marketing, and then led Respironics to 15 consecutive quarters of revenue and profit growth.  He served as Respironics' vice chairman until March 2008. 

Before joining Respironics, Liken owned Liken Home Medical, a regional provider of home respiratory services, from 1990 until he sold the company in 1998.