Medical devices maker Smith & Nephew has appointed Siemens Healthineers’ Deepak Nath as chief executive, replacing Roland Diggelmann after the company narrowly missed analysts’ estimate for annual profit.

Diggelmann was brought in after the company’s former boss left over pay in late 2019, and the British firm was counting his more than 20 years’ experience in the orthopaedics and diagnostics sectors to accelerate its revenue growth.

However, the pandemic hit soon after, forcing hospitals to delay elective surgeries and services to accommodate Covid-19 patients, and hitting demand for the company’s hip and knee replacements while supply chain issues also weighed it down.

Smith & Nephew said Diggelmann was leaving “by mutual agreement” on March 31.

Revenue at the British company rose 10.3 per cent to $5.21 billion in the 12 months ended Dec. 31 on an underlying basis, steadily recovering from 2020, while trading profit came in at $936 million, compared with $683 million in the previous year.

Healthcare networks globally are under pressure again by the new Omicron coronavirus variant, and the company is targeting underlying revenue growth in the range 4.0 to 5.0 per cent for 2022.

Nath, who was previously president of diagnostics at Siemens, will start at Smith & Nephew from April 1.

“(Deepak Nath) is joining us at an inflection point for the business and will bring his drive, experience and expertise to lead the team in delivering our Strategy for growth at pace,” chairman Roberto Quarta said in a statement.

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