Wright Medical announces layoffs, new leadership

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Two days after announcing its plan to cut 80 jobs, orthopedic device-maker Wright Medical named a new president and CEO. Robert J. Palmisano, former chief of ev3, which makes endovascular devices and was purchased by Covidien, took the helm at the Arlington, Tenn.-based company Sept. 17.

Interim president and CEO David D. Stevens will remain chair, according to a company statement.

Wright said it was necessary to lay off the 80 employees, who represent 6 percent of its workforce, in order to streamline its selling and distribution operations, reduce its international product portfolio and adjust plant operations.

The Wall Street Journal ( WSJ) noted Monday that a number of Wright executives, including former CEO Gary D. Henley, have resigned or been fired this year. “Analysts have speculated the departures were linked to compliance issues following a deal last year with federal prosecutors regarding allegations of improper doctor payments,” the WSJ reported. “Some investigations—both internal and external—are continuing.”

WSJ also pointed out that job cuts have become common in the medical devices industry, as evidenced by recent restructurings at Medtronic and Boston Scientific.

Publicly traded Wright Medical sells reconstructive joint devices and related products.