Smith and Nephew announces chief executive cancer diagnosis

Billy Bambrough
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Robots Due Surgery in New York Hospital
Smith and Nephew chief executive Olivier Bohuon oversaw the takeover of robotics-assisted surgery company Blue Belt Technologies last year (Source: Getty)

Smith & Nephew, the orthopaedics giant that’s Europe's biggest maker of artificial hips and knees, has announced today its chief executive Olivier Bohuon has been diagnosed with cancer.

Bohuon will remain in his role during his treatment period, beginning later this month.

The company described the form of cancer as “highly treatable”, and said Bohuon will be undergoing a course of chemotherapy that is expected to be complete by late Autumn.

Roberto Quarta, the company's chairman, said:

Olivier has set a clear strategy that is invigorating Smith & Nephew's growth profile. I am confident that Olivier and his team will continue to execute the plan successfully. Our thoughts are with him as he undergoes treatment.

Smith & Nephew’s board has approved provisional governance procedures to ensure the effective operation of Smith & Nephew during the treatment period.

Quarta will providing executive oversight if required, however Bohuon will present Smith & Nephew's full year result this week on Thursday as planned.

The manufacturer of surgical devices for orthopaedic construction acquired robotics-assisted surgery company Blue Belt Technologies for $275m (£180m) in October last year.

The company was forced to withdraw one of its hip-replacement systems in the Summer of 2015 as it required too many post-operative follow-ups.

Shares in medical equipment group Smith & Nephew surged 12 months ago to value the business at £10.4bn on the back of reports of a possible takeover by US group Stryker.

The firm's share price remained volatile throughout the year.

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