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Bausch + Lomb names new CEO, chairman


Bausch + Lomb, with a foundation built on a "legendary" 157-year-old brand, is poised for growth, according to its CEO.

Rochester, NY-Bausch + Lomb, with a foundation built on a "legendary" 157-year-old brand, is poised for growth, according to the company's new chief executive officer (CEO).

Saunders and Hassan take the helm at Bausch + Lomb as it works to regain its footing following the 2006 recall of its contact lens solution (ReNu with MoistureLoc), which was linked to a rare outbreak of Fusarium keratitis throughout the country. The recalled solution resulted in more than 60 cornea transplants and more than 600 lawsuits. The company has paid about $250 million in settlements since 2008, according to the Associated Press. In the aftermath of the recall, chairman Ronald L. Zarrella resigned in 2008, and Ostrov was appointed to help stabilize the company.

Saunders acknowledged that Hassan has successfully rebuilt "broken" companies-but that is not needed here.

"I can't stress that enough," Saunders said March 17 by telephone from the Netherlands, where he and Hassan were meeting some of their new employees. "The previous CEO and the current executive team did a lot of fixing already. So this is building from a very solid foundation. I've been using the [phrase] 'powering up,' which means taking the hard work all of the company employees have done and trying to make the most of it. It's the idea of going from good to great."

The building process will require new products, through a combination of research and development, and mergers and acquisitions, he said.

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