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Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024

Health Care Profile – David L. Schlotterbeck

David L. Schlotterbeck

David L. Schlotterbeck is chairman and CEO of CareFusion, a $4 billion medical device company based in San Diego.

The mission of the company is to deliver clinically proven products and services that measurably improve care. The products are intended to make hospitals safer and more efficient places.

An important focus is to help eliminate health care associated infections and medication errors. These two issues add more than $30 billion to the annual cost of delivering health care in the U.S., according to CareFusion.

Prior to his role at CareFusion, Schlotterbeck served as vice chairman and CEO for the Clinical and Medical Products business segment of Cardinal Health, where he provided executive oversight for the company’s Clinical Technologies and Services, Medical Products and Technologies and International business segments.


• Name: David L. Schlotterbeck.

• Company: CareFusion.

• Titles: Chairman and CEO.

• Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio.

• Age: 62.

• Family: Married, five children.


Essential business philosophy: For CareFusion, “innovation is our lifeblood.” The most important thing we can do is innovate clinically proven medical products for our customers. Our goal with every product is to measurably improve patient safety or efficiency for our customers.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Foster a high-performing company culture. As a new company, one of our most important initiatives was to establish a set of guiding beliefs and include all 15,000 employees in the establishment of our company culture.

Guiding principles: If we adhere to our beliefs — we have five of them — we will continue to grow and succeed in the market. And nothing motivates a team more than winning and growing.

Yardsticks of success: Impact on health care and shareholder return.

Goals yet to be achieved: Dramatically reducing hospital-acquired infections.


Best business decision: To champion a companywide culture in my last CEO role. It resulted in our stock appreciating 7,000 percent during a four-year period and becoming the best performing stock on all three exchanges for a 12-month period.

Toughest business decision: My toughest business decisions always involve people. I made the difficult decision earlier this year to restructure our business due to the slowdown in hospital spending, which resulted in a necessary reduction in our work force. No CEO ever wants to take this type of action.

Words that describe you: Optimistic, relentless and curious. I can also be impatient when I think we are moving too slowly on a great opportunity.


What you like best about your job: The people. We have a smart, energized team.

What you like least about your job: The commute. It takes me over an hour each way.

Pet peeve: Excuses. When it comes to financial performance, I believe managers are accountable for their results.

Most important lesson learned: That I could trust good people to deliver results. Once I learned that with the right people I don’t need to manage every detail, my life improved, my business improved and I think the lives of people around me improved.

First choice for a new career: Watch maker. My engineering mind loves the precision and detail of a good timepiece. I collect them.


Favorite quote: “You get what you give.”

Most influential book: “Good to Great” and “Journey to the Emerald City.”

Favorite vacation spot: Deer Valley, Utah.


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