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Hanger's Thomas F. Kirk Announces Retirement As CEO; Board Appoints Vinit K. Asar As Successor

Stocks in this article: HGR

AUSTIN, Texas, May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc. (NYSE:HGR) today announced that Chief Executive Officer Thomas F. Kirk, 66, informed the board of directors of his decision to retire as CEO after over 10 years of service with the company.  In accordance with the succession plan developed by management and the board of directors, President and Chief Operating Officer Vinit K. Asar, 46, has been appointed to succeed Mr. Kirk as CEO and has joined the board of directors.  To facilitate the transition, Mr. Kirk will assume the officer position of Vice Chairman until his retirement December 31, 2012.  Mr. Kirk remains a member of the board of directors.

"It was apparent from the moment we met Tom that he would make an exceptional impact on our company and the profession," said Chairman of the Board Ivan R. Sabel, CPO.  "We originally met Tom when he consulted in 2001 to help us with the challenge of integrating the most significant acquisition in our history.  Tom executed a strategic corporate restructuring and a brilliant turnaround that positioned Hanger on a stable and profitable path for growth.  Over the next decade, his impressive foresight drove shareholder value.  On behalf of Hanger's board members, I'd like to express our sincere appreciation to Tom for his dedicated service and outstanding leadership."     

Mr. Kirk joined Hanger in January 2002 as President and Chief Operating Officer and became CEO in March 2008.  Under Mr. Kirk's leadership from 2008 to 2012, Hanger's annual revenues grew from $640 million to over $920 million, adjusted EBITDA grew from $84 million to $150 million, and stock price grew from $9.45 to $21.25 per share.  His focus on consistent operational performance enabled Hanger to meet or exceed First Call consensus estimates for more than 20 consecutive quarters.  Emphasizing disciplined diversification, Mr. Kirk identified adjacent business opportunities in network management, device development and commercialization, and new patient care delivery models. 

"I was fortunate to have led the organization during transformative and complex times, both at Hanger and in healthcare," said Mr. Kirk. "The growth and operational success we achieved would certainly not have been possible without the wise counsel of our board of directors, the unwavering dedication of our employees and the confidence of our patients.  I have spent the past several years working closely with Vinit on understanding our industry trends and long-term growth opportunities.  I have watched as he led strong improvements in the management of operations across the portfolio.  Vinit is ready to take our company to the next level."

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