May 1, Zimmer Holdings Inc. (ZMH - NYSE), an orthopedic implant maker, announced the promotion of David C. Dvorak to replace Ray Elliot. Elliot, who was with the firm for nearly twenty five years, announced late last year his plan to retire. The company immediately initiated a search for his replacement. Elliot, who has been very successful in running the company managed to build a top-notch management team. The stock dropped nearly 2.5% on the day of the Dvorak announcement but I believe the appointment should work out for the company.
Dvorak, a lawyer who has had experience in a number of areas within and outside the firm appears to be a solid choice. He is forty three years old and joined Zimmer in December 2001 following the spin-off from Bristol-Myers Squibb. He has moved up through the ranks quite rapidly. Prior to his promotion to the top job, Dvorak was group president global businesses and earlier served as the company's general counsel. Before joining Zimmer, he was Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Steris Corporation, a medical products sterilization and contamination prevention products and services firm. He has also practiced law where he focused on corporate law, securities and mergers and acquisitions, all areas of major importance to an orthopedic device maker.
I expect the transition overall to be rather smooth. Keep an eye on Zimmer as Dvorak gets his feet wet and becomes more comfortable in his new position.