Van Houten stepping down as Philips CEO after 12 years
Frans van Houten is stepping down as CEO of Philips. Roy Jakobs will succeed him effective October 15, the health technology company announced Tuesday. “The Supervisory Board and Van Houten have agreed that with the end of his third term in sight, the time is right for a change of leadership,” the company said in a statement.
The company faced a great deal of criticism over the past months due to the recall of its sleep apnea devices. Philips found that the sound-dampening foam on the devices could crumble if it made contact with certain cleaning agents. This initially raised carcinogenic concerns, but Philips later said the problem was less dangerous than thought. The company still received a lot of criticism for the slow recall process and its lack of communication with affected customers. The recall also cost Philips millions.
Van Houten served three terms as CEO of Philips. “I would like to thank Frans for his transformational leadership of Philips over the last nearly 12 years,” said Supervisory Board chairman Feike Sijbesma. “Guided by his vision and the execution of the strategic roadmap, he has successfully led the company’s transformation from a diversified industrial conglomerate to a focused, global solutions leader in health technology.”
Van Houten called it a “privilege and a pleasure” to lead the transformation. “While I am proud of my accomplishments, much remains to be done to enhance the resilience of Philips to manage through current setbacks and adverse market conditions,” Van Houten said. “I gladly hand over to Roy Jakobs in the knowledge that he brings the experience, energy, and commitment to take Philips on the path forward.”
According to Philips, Jakobs brings a strong international, operation, and transformational track record, as well as a deep understanding of the company. He took over the voluntary recall notification for the Respironics devices and booked substantial progress in finding solutions for patients as fast as possible, the company said.
Jakobs said he is “delighted” by his appointment to CEO, which will be confirmed at a shareholders’ meeting on September 30. “I aim to build on the company’s strong foundation as a purpose-driven health technology leader with deep innovation and clinical expertise, to serve the needs of patients and consumers today and in the future.”