Wright Medical Names New CEO

Wright Medical Group ( WMGI), best known for its replacement hips, now has a replacement CEO.

The orthopedics firm Monday announced that 53-year-old Laurence Fairey will become president and CEO on July 1 and retain the seat on Wright's board that he's held since January. Barry Bays, Wright's first CEO and president, will become the company's executive chairman, leaving the post he assumed in January 2000.

Shares of Wright dropped 54 cents, or 1.5%, to $35.37.

"I look forward to my new responsibilities as executive chairman of the board of directors," said Bays, 57, in a statement. "This new role will allow me to continue my direct involvement in the business and contribute to the strategy and direction of Wright, while reducing my overall time commitment."

In addition to keeping the experienced Bays on hand, Wright gains another experienced CEO with the addition of Fairey, who has 27 years of service in the orthopedics industry. From 1990 until his retirement in 2000, Fairey served a variety of executive positions, including CFO, at Medtronic Sofamor Danek and its predecessor company, Sofamor Danek Group. Before Sofamor, Fairey spent 18 years at Smith & Nephew Richards, formerly the Richards Medical company, where Bays also got his start.

"While I am taking the reigns as CEO and look forward to my new leadership role, the core executive team remains unchanged," said Fairey. "Working together with Barry and the rest of the management team, I am confident in achieving our growth objectives and financial milestones while continuing to build the company's product portfolio."

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