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Baxter names new president of international division.

Don't expect Medtronic Inc. to bury the hatchet with Baxter International Inc. anytime soon, if ever. In fact, the longstanding rivalry between the two adversaries only is likely to intensify in light of Baxter's recent hire.

Earlier this year, Baxter lured Jean-Luc Butel away from Medtronic by matching his position and title at the Minneapolis, Minn.-based medical device manufacturer. Baxter named Butel corporate vice president and president of its international business unit, a title that practically mimics his professional handle as executive vice president and group president for Medtronic's international business division.


The pilfering marked Baxter's second brazen raid of Medtronic's medtech-rich turf in the span of a month. In mid-December, the Deerfield, Ill.-based firm announced the $325 million acquisition of Synovis Life Technologies, a St. Paul, Minn.-based developer and manufacturer of surgical tools and implantable biomaterials. The companies officially closed the deal on Valentine's Day.

Butel, 55, resigned from his position at Medtronic on Jan. 20 and joined Baxter a month later, on Feb. 20. He earned $3.7 million at Medtronic in fiscal 2011 but was not entitled to any special payouts or compensation upon his departure, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed by the company.

Considering his background, Butel should have a relatively easy transition to his new position. He performed basically the same duties at Medtronic, leading the company's international operations and the Asia Pacific regions since joining the firm in 2003. His job description changed slightly last August when Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak fine-tuned the company's growth strategy to include a greater emphasis on emerging markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Ishrak reshuffled Medtronic's executive committee to help optimize innovation and accelerate globalization, according to an email sent to employees.

Before joining Medtronic in 2003, Butel was president of Independence Technology, a Johnson & Johnson company that developed a powered wheelchair called the iBOT Mobility System. The device used gyroscopic technology to rise and balance on two wheels, elevating the seat; the technology also enabled the device to move two wheels up and over the other two repeatedly so the chair could climb stairs. Independence Technology stopped selling the wheelchair in 2009, about six years after it first hit the market.

Butel also worked at Franklin Lakes, N.J.-based Becton Dickinson and Company, serving in various leadership roles from 1991 to 1999, including general manager of the Microbiology business in Japan, president of Japan operations and president of Worldwide Consumer Healthcare. At Baxter, he will report directly to Chairman and CEO Robert L. Parkinson Jr.

"Geographic expansion continues to be a growth driver for Baxter. Our global presence and the strength of our country and regional organizations position us to meet the ever increasing demand for healthcare worldwide, particularly for the products that we provide," Parkinson said in a news release announcing Butel's appointment. "Jean-Luc brings significant international expertise to Baxter and he will be a tremendous asset to the company in his new role leading our international business."

Butel serves on the board of directors of Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB).He earned his bachelor's degree in international affairs from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and his master's degree in international business from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz.

Baxter develops, manufactures and markets products for hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma and other chronic and acute medical conditions.
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Title Annotation:People News
Publication:Medical Product Outsourcing
Date:Apr 1, 2012
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