Steve West as New CEO, Peter Dans Incoming CFO
Taking major initiative to reinvent itself as a smaller and more focused medical isotope business, MDS Inc. (TSX:MDS) officially named Steve West as the new CEO, Friday.
As early as September, MDS had been decided to push Steve West to take over as now former MDS CEO Stephen DeFalco declared that he would step down once MDS accomplished a plan to sell off most of its business units for it to focus on its troubled Nordion isotope business.
"We are working to establish MDS Nordion as a stand-alone business that continues to build its leadership positions in medical imaging and radiotherapeutics, and sterilization technologies," West stated Friday.
Nordion has been under pressure due to the prolonged shutdown of a Canadian reactor supplying the diagnostic and therapeutic radioactive materials distributed around the world.
Considered as one of the reason for the restructuring is the strategy of DeFalco to refocus the company by growing in the United States and internationally through acquisitions, as well as by selling off its lab division, then Canada's largest, for $1.3 billion to the OMERS pension fund. This unfortunately failed to save MDS's sagging share price or financial performance.
Meanwhile, MDS filed lawsuit against the federal government and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. due to the government's decision to discontinue unilaterally the MAPLE project in 2008 after MDS had invested over $350 million. A parallel arbitration process was also initiated.
"With the strategic repositioning of MDS under way, the board believes it is appropriate to move forward with its CEO transition plan," chairman James MacDonald stated Friday.
"We are confident that Steve's attention to financial performance and his track record of strengthening operations will serve the company well, both now and into the future."
On the other hand, the current senior vice-president of finance will be replacing Doug Prince as chief financial officer on the coming month.
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