PerkinElmer Names New CEO

Late last week, PerkinElmer announced that Robert F. Friel, president of the company’s Life and Analytical Sciences division (LAS), would transition to president and COO on August 1, before being named CEO next February. Gregory L. Summe, chairman, president and CEO, who has been with the company 10 years as of next January, will assume the executive chairman position on the board, to which he will devote 50% of his time. Since joining PerkinElmer (then EG&G) in 1998 (see IBO 1/31/98), Mr. Summe has overseen the $425 million purchase of the Perkin-Elmer (now Applied Biosystems) analytical instruments business (see IBO 3/15/99), the sale of legacy EG&G businesses, the $650 million acquisition of Packard Bioscience (see IBO 7/15/01) and the sale of its fluid testing and semiconductor businesses (see IBO 10/15/05).

As Mr. Summe told IBO, the transition is being driven by his pursuit of new challenges. “This was really driven by my desire to leave PerkinElmer after 10 years. That anniversary is in January of 2008. . . . I’ve always been consistent with the Board that I wanted to take on a different professional challenge,” Mr. Summe explained. The company’s current success, including 9% organic growth in the second quarter (see page 12), has set the stage for the transition, according to Mr. Summe. “The markets are doing well. The company is in great shape and, therefore, it is also a good time for a succession. I’ve been working on the succession with the Board over the past four years.”

The announcement of the changes, he hoped, will facilitate a transparent and smooth transition. “The reason we came out with this yesterday and we’re staging it this way is that we wanted to give good visibility to the investors and to everyone—the investors, customers, employees—so they could be assured of continuity of the strategy and no loss of institutional knowledge,” Mr. Summe said.

Mr. Friel’s experience with the organization includes seven years as CFO and a year and a half as LAS president and company vice chairman and director. “He’s a demonstrated performer within PerkinElmer,” said Mr. Summe. “I think it’s a very natural evolution for Rob. We feel very fortunate to have a very strong internal candidate for succession. We believe it’ll be a seamless transition over time.” Mr. Friel also sits on the Boards of Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Fairchild Semiconductors.

PerkinElmer does not plan to fill the LAS president position that Mr. Friel will vacate. “What we have done over the past couple of years in LAS is set up four fairly distinct business units that are now stand-alone businesses within LAS,” Mr. Summe explained. “They have their own sales forces, manufacturing and R&D, whereas, previously, it was a more functionalized organization.” The four businesses will report to Mr. Friel, as will John Roush, president of PerkinElmer’s Optoelectronics division.

Mr. Summe will leave PerkinElmer a very different company, having established it in the Health Sciences business through 19 acquisitions and 17 divestitures. Health Sciences represented 85% of PerkinElmer’s second-quarter revenues. He also leaves a company with more than $1 billion in instrument sales and a strong position for the future.

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