Rochester, NY – There's been a change in leadership at Bausch and Lomb.
Ronald Zarrella announced Wednesday morning that he's retiring after six years as chairman and CEO. He'll be succeeded by Gerald Ostrov, formerly of Johnson & Johnson, where he served as group chairman. The change takes effect immediately.
Zarrella will remain with the company as chairman emeritus.
Zarrella's early years as head of Bausch and Lomb saw significant increases in the company's stock price, but the later years were marked by controversy. Questions were raised over the company's financial reporting practices and the company was forced to restate earnings; its ReNu contact lens solution was recalled after being linked to eye infections; and it was discovered in late 2002 that Zarrella had lied about getting an MBA from New York University.
Bausch and Lomb became a private company last year after being purchased by Warburg Pincus.
George Conboy, President of Brighton Securities, was not surprised by the change in leadership. He says Bausch and Lomb did not perform well under Zarrella, and that the stock was down considerably, making it vulnerable to a takeover by Warburn Pincus.
Conboy calls Ostrov a "top guy" in the eye care business who seems to have the necessary credentials to successfully run Bausch and Lomb.