Wright Medical Group, Inc. Names Robert J. Palmisano President and Chief Executive Officer

Wright Medical Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: WMGI), a global orthopaedic medical device company and a leading provider of surgical solutions for the foot and ankle market, today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Robert J. Palmisano as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective September 17, 2011. David D. Stevens, who currently serves as interim President and Chief Executive Officer, will remain Chairman of the Board and return to his role as a member of the Nominating, Compliance and Governance Committee.
Mr. Palmisano has significant experience leading publicly traded medical device companies, and he most recently served as President and CEO of ev3, Inc, a global endovascular device company. During his two year tenure, ev3’s market capitalization more than tripled, from approximately $800 million in April 2008 to $2.6 billion in July 2010.
Mr. Stevens stated, “Bob is a proven leader with an impressive track record of building shareholder value. His ability to enhance operational and financial results will make him an ideal leader to take Wright Medical to the next level. In recent months, we have taken many positive steps to better position the Company for success, including strengthening our compliance program and implementing a plan to reduce operational costs. We believe Bob is the right person to continue building on this progress, and we are delighted to welcome him to the team.”
Mr. Palmisano said, “Wright Medical is a recognized leader in the foot and ankle market, and with a solid portfolio and strong pipeline of new products, the Company is well-positioned for success. I look forward to working together with the Board, management and Wright Medical’s talented employees, to help this great company achieve its full potential.”
Wright also announced today that in connection with Mr. Palmisano’s appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer, and as an inducement to his employment with Wright, the Compensation Committee of its Board of Directors approved the grant of a stock option to Mr. Palmisano to be made on September 17, 2011, to purchase up to 610,000 shares of Wright’s common stock at an exercise price of $16.03, which was the closing price of Wright’s common stock on the day prior to grant. The stock option vests and becomes exercisable in three equal, annual installments beginning on the first anniversary of the grant, conditioned on Mr. Palmisano’s continued employment. In the event of a change in control or the termination of Mr. Palmisano’s employment by Wright without “cause,” by Mr. Palmisano for “good reason” or on account Mr. Palmisano’s death or disability, the stock option will immediately accelerate and become fully vested. The stock option has a ten year term and is subject to the terms and conditions of the stock option agreement pursuant to which the option was granted.
This press release is being made in accordance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).
Robert J. Palmisano Bio
Prior to serving as President and CEO of ev3, Mr. Palmisano was President and CEO of IntraLase Corp. and previously he was President and CEO of MacroChem Corporation. Earlier in his career, he served as President and CEO of Summit Technology Inc. until it was acquired by Alcon Inc. From 1984 to 1996, he served in various executive positions at Bausch & Lomb Incorporated.
Mr. Palmisano is currently a Venture Partner of SV Life Sciences and serves on the Board of Directors of Bausch & Lomb and the Providence College Board of Trustees. Mr. Palmisano holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from Providence College.
The Company is temporarily suspending its previously announced outlook for sales and earnings as Mr. Palmisano transitions into the President and CEO position. The Company will provide updated information on its outlook for sales and earnings performance at its upcoming third quarter earnings release conference call.
Source: Wright Medical Press Release

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