Joseph C. Papa (l) and Thomas W. Ross Sr.

VAUGHAN, ONTARIO—Just a little over two months after its partial spinoff from parent company Bausch Health Companies Inc. (NYSE/TSX: BHC), the eye health and vision care company Bausch + Lomb Corp. (NYSE/TSX: BLCO) is undertaking a search for a successor to chief executive officer Joseph Papa. Papa stepped down as chairman of the board of Bausch + Lomb earlier this week, and the company also announced at the same time that it has begun a search for a successor to Papa as CEO of Bausch + Lomb. He will continue in the CEO role and as a member of the board until a successor is appointed, the company said in its announcement on Wednesday.

The B+L board has appointed Thomas W. Ross Sr. to serve as the chair of the board following Papa’s move to step down.
The announcement also noted that Bausch + Lomb, with the support of its board, “remains committed to the strategy of completing its spinoff from Bausch Health. Mr. Papa's departure is not the result of any disagreement with the company.” No further details were available.
Bausch + Lomb became public again in early May, as VMAIL reported, when its shares began trading under the “BLCO” symbol on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange. Parent company Bausch Health Cos. raised about $630 million in the offering (below an expected $840 million at the higher share price), and continues to hold approximately 85 percent to 90 percent of the common shares of Bausch + Lomb. (Papa had been CEO of Bausch Health when the plan to spinoff the B+L vision care business was initially announced, but he subsequently stepped away from that role, also.)
“Joe has done an incredible job as the former leader of Bausch Health and current leader of Bausch + Lomb,” Ross said in the announcement. “He was faced with numerous challenges when he joined Bausch Health in 2016, and under his leadership key matters, including reduction of debt burdens, settlement of legacy legal matters, investment in R&D and new launches, have allowed the company to complete its IPO earlier this year.”
Papa added, “It has been a privilege to serve as the CEO of first Bausch Health, and now Bausch + Lomb, and to work with amazingly talented and dedicated employees who never wavered from our mission of helping people around the world see better to live better. After six years as CEO, and after accomplishing the IPO of Bausch + Lomb, I believe now is an appropriate time to transition leadership of the company. I am proud of what we have accomplished during my tenure, and I will leave knowing Bausch + Lomb is well-positioned for continued success as it transitions toward being a separate company.”
B+L said that in the announcement this week that it affirms its full-year guidance range for 2022, which was first announced on June 8. Further details will be provided in the company's second quarter earnings call.
“On behalf of the entire board of Bausch + Lomb, I thank Joe for his leadership, commitment to the company and focus on its people and patients," said John Paulson, a member of the board and chair of the board of directors of Bausch Health. "Bausch Health and Bausch + Lomb remain committed to the spinoff of the company from Bausch Health, which is currently anticipated to occur in 2023, following both the expiry of customary lock-ups related to the company's IPO and achievement of Bausch Health's target leverage ratio, subject to market conditions and receipt of applicable shareholder and other necessary approvals and other factors."