The latest departure came amid reports that the British medical equipment manufacturer failed to meet his pay demands. The FTSE 100 company shares declined by seven per cent to £17 in the morning trading in the British capital (Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images).


THE boss of Smith & Nephew is stepping down as its chief executive officer (CEO).

Smith & Nephew announced today (21) that Namal Nawana is stepping down from the board and as CEO next Thursday (31) by a mutual agreement.

The latest departure came amid reports that the British medical equipment manufacturer failed to meet his pay demands.

The FTSE 100 company shares declined by seven per cent to £17 in the morning trading in the British capital.

Nawana, who is of Sri Lankan origin, is leaving the business after just 18 months at the helm.

He joined Smith & Nephew from American diagnostic testing business Alere, where he had a higher pay scale.

Roland Diggelmann has been appointed as the company’s new CEO and will take on his new responsibilities on November 1.

Nawana will be employed and provide advice and assistance to Diggelmann in his new role until the end of this year to help ensure a smooth transition.

The British Asian has been instrumental in delivering during a critical phase of Smith & Nephew’s development, accelerating revenue growth across franchises and geographies, as well as improving profitability, Smith & Nephew said in a statement.

“The new CEO and senior leadership team will now build on these strong foundations to further drive commercial execution and deliver on the company’s strategic ambitions,” the company added.

Diggelmann joined Smith & Nephew’s board as a non-executive director in March 2018, and since then he has gained deep insight into the company and its management team.

Diggelmann will cease to be a non-executive director and step down from the audit committee and culture and compliance committee of the board with immediate effect.

Roberto Quarta, chairman of Smith & Nephew, said: “…During his time with Smith & Nephew, Namal has substantially transformed the business with a new strategy, purpose and culture, and renewed commitment to innovation, returning it to an improved growth trajectory…”

Nawana commented: “There is clear momentum behind our strategy laid out last year, underlined by the company’s performance generated by our team during 2019. I am proud to be leaving Smith & Nephew in a strong position for the next phase of its development.”

Prior to his 11-year career at Roche Diagnostics as CEO, Diggelmann spent 12 years in the orthopaedics sector, serving in strategy and leadership roles at Sulzer Orthopedics and Zimmer, now Zimmer Biomet.