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Mick Farrell to Take Over Top Spot at ResMed

Peter Farrell, founder, chairman and longtime CEO of San Diego-based medical device manufacturer ResMed Inc., is stepping down from his post and will be replaced by his son, Mick Farrell. The move will become effective March 1.

ResMed, which develops and manufactures equipment for sleep-related breathing disorders, had 2012 revenue of about $1.4 billion and has a market capitalization of $6.2 billion.

“I am extremely excited to be taking the reins of a company that will contribute to the well-being and improved quality of life of millions of patients suffering from sleep-disordered breathing,” Mick Farrell said.

ResMed also announced that Robert Douglas, the company’s chief operating officer, will also become the company’s president. Jim Hollingshead, the current ResMed chief strategy officer will replace Mick Farrell as president of the Americas division.

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“I have little doubt that Mick and Rob will build on ResMed’s momentum as a global driving force in sleep and respiratory medicine, and as a leader in the medical device industry,” Peter Farrell said. “They have also played an integral role in developing and preserving the unique culture established within ResMed which has proved to be an extremely important component of the success of the company. The board and I are extremely confident in the ability of our senior management, as well as the talent at all levels throughout ResMed.”

Peter Farrell will become its executive chairman through the end of 2013, when he will transition to nonexecutive chairman.

This is the second time Peter Farrell, 70, has stepped down as CEO of the company. In 2008 he stepped down, and the company’s then-chief operating officer, Kieran Gallahue, took the reins as CEO. But in 2011, Gallahue resigned and joined San Diego’s CareFusion Corp. as its CEO — so Peter Farrell resumed his previous role as ResMed CEO and the board began an intensive, two-year search for a new chief executive.

Analysts say the move is unsurprising, and has been generally expected for the past two years.

Two-Year Search

“A thorough review of potential candidates to succeed Peter was conducted by the board’s CEO succession committee, working closely with the nominating and governance committee and a top-tier executive search consultancy,” said Gary Pace, lead director of ResMed’s board and chairman of the board’s succession committee, in a statement. “At this time, we also want to thank Peter for resuming the role of CEO over the past couple of years and now turning over the helm to Mick and Rob while staying on as executive chairman of the board.”

ResMed was founded in Australia by Peter Farrell in 1989, and moved its headquarters to San Diego in 1990. It employs about 4,000 worldwide and about 430 in the San Diego area. The company recently announced plans to hire an additional 130 around the globe, including 30 hires in San Diego.

“We’re not an Australian company, and we’re not an American company — we’re a global company,” Mick Farrell said. “We’re in more than 70 countries, and are starting to get close to the triple digits. We’re excited about the global reach and global impact — we’ve changed the lives of more than 7 million people around the world.”

Mick Farrell became president of the Americas division in 2011, responsible for sales and commercial operations. Under Mick Farrell’s direction, the company grew its sales in the Americas division — which accounts for about 55 percent of the company’s revenue — by more than 30 percent.

He was senior vice president of the sleep strategic business unit from 2007 to 2011, and before that held the positions of vice president, marketing for the Americas and vice president of business development.

Mick Farrell joined ResMed in 2000, after having worked in management consulting at Arthur D. Little, as well as in biotechnology and chemicals and steel manufacturing at Genzyme Corp., Dow Chemical Corp. and BHP Billiton Ltd. He holds a bachelor’s in engineering from the University of New South Wales, a master of science in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

“It was very much a startup company when I started — our revenue was around $50 million or less in sales,” he said. “Now our market capitalization is about $6 billion. It’s incredible to see that growth.”

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