Abbott (NYSE:ABT) CEO Miles White is retiring in March after two decades heading the Abbott Park, Ill.-based corporation. He changed what was more of a pharmaceutical company into one of the world’s largest medtech companies. Here’s a timeline of the company’s transformation under his leadership.
- Miles white takes over as Abbott chairman and CEO. The company has customers in 130 countries, approximately 57,000 employees, sales of $12.5 billion — more than 60% in the U.S. — and a market capitalization of $75 billion.
- Acquires Perclose, providing the foundation for building the company’s cardiovascular business.
- Begins public-private partnership in Tanzania to strengthen the country’s healthcare system, investing more than $130 million during the next two decades.
- Acquires Knoll Pharmaceuticals. Develops and launches Humira, which would become the world’s leading drug.
- Establishes Point-of-Care business, enabling rapid, near-patient testing, with the acquisition of i-STAT.
- Spins off the hospital products business as Hospira, an independent, publicly traded company. Pfizer buys Hospira for $17 billion in 2015.
- Acquires TheraSense, a leading blood-glucose monitoring business, setting the stage for its diabetes care business.
- Earns place on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, remaining on the list for 15 years and leading the healthcare industry for the past seven years.
- Acquires Guidant’s vascular business, including the Xience drug-eluting stent.
- Creates fully integrated global nutrition business.
- Acquires Solvay’s pharmaceutical business.
- Forms a stand-alone “established pharmaceuticals” business focused on providing branded generic drugs to emerging markets.
- Acquires Piramal’s Healthcare Solutions business in India.
- Separates its research-based pharmaceutical business into a new public company called AbbVie. Today, the combined market capitalization of the companies has risen 167% to $277 billion.
- The FreeStyle Libre, the first continuous glucose-monitoring system to eliminate fingersticks, is approved in Europe. It was later approved for use in the U.S. and remains the best selling CGM in the world.
- Expands established pharma business with the acquisitions of CFR Pharmaceuticals in Latin America and Veropharm in Russia.
- Launches Alinity diagnostics systems across all of Abbott’s laboratory testing segments.
- Acquires St. Jude Medical for $25 billion, boosting its position in the cardiovascular and neuromodulation markets.
- Acquires Alere and its point-of-care diagnostics business for $5.3 billion.
- Ranks No. 1 in its industry among Fortune’s Most Admired companies for the sixth straight year.
- Abbott’s stock reaches all-time high. Shareholder value reaches $220 billion, with a total return of 575% (which includes the combined $294 billion market capitalization of Abbott, AbbVie and Hospira), well ahead of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (393%) and S&P 500 (274%) over the same timeframe.
- Abbott’s sales reach $30.6 billion today with 65% in international markets and a market cap of $149 billion (excluding AbbVie and Hospira). The company now has 103,000 employees in more than 160 countries.
- Miles White to retire March 31, to be succeeded Abbott president and COO Robert Ford, who will become the 13th CEO in the company’s history.