Amid a spate of product recalls and ensuing litigation, David Floyd has resigned as worldwide president of DePuy Orthopaedics, which makes artificial hip and knee devices. He ran the Johnson & Johnson unit for the past four years and is leaving to pursue other interests. A replacement (no pun intended) has not been named, according to a DePuy spokeswoman.
His departure, which goes into effect at the end of the month, comes as DePuy is struggling. The unit is the largest of J&J's medical devices units with $5.59 billion in sales last year. But while 2010 sales rose 4 percent globally, revenue increased only 1.6 percent in the US. In the fourth quarter, worldwide sales fell 1.8 percent and dropped 2.5 percent, partly due to recalls as well as the economy (see here).
Last summer, DePuy recalled its ASR hip system, after researchers found a second operation, or revision surgery, was needed after five years at rates higher than expected. The so-called ‘metal-on-metal’ devices contained design defects that generated cobalt and chromium particles causing tissue death, fractures, and other injuries, according to lawsuits. The failure rate was estimated to be about 12 percent. Consequently, J&J took a $280 million fourth-quarter charge to pay for the recall (this story was first reported by Bloomberg News).