Hologic names new CEO, adds two Icahn nominees to board

Mon Dec 9, 2013 10:39am EST

Investor Carl Icahn speaks at the Wall Street Journal Deals & Deal Makers conference at the New York Stock Exchange in this June 27, 2007 file photograph. REUTERS/Chip East/Files

Investor Carl Icahn speaks at the Wall Street Journal Deals & Deal Makers conference at the New York Stock Exchange in this June 27, 2007 file photograph.

Credit: Reuters/Chip East/Files

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(Reuters) - Medical device maker Hologic Inc (HOLX.O) named a former Stryker Corp (SYK.N) CEO as its chief executive, and said it appointed two directors backed by Carl Icahn to its board as part of a settlement with the activist investor.

The company said Stephen MacMillan will take over as chief executive immediately, replacing Jack Cumming, whom the company had brought back in July in an attempt to turn around its fortunes. Cumming had served as CEO from 2001 to 2009.

"We are confident that Steve is the right person to lead Hologic forward," Icahn said in a statement.

Hologic, which makes screening tests for cancer and other diseases, has been struggling with cuts in hospital spending, a lack of reimbursement for one of its mammography systems, and its troubled $3.75 billion acquisition and integration of Gen-Probe Inc.

Icahn, who disclosed a 12.5 percent stake in late November, had said he would consider discussing with Hologic's management the possibility of board representation and ways to improve shareholder value.

The company announced a shareholder rights plan, or a "poison pill", the same day, to protect itself from hostile takeovers.

The new appointees, Jonathan Christodoro and Samuel Merksamer, currently serve as managing directors of Icahn Capital LP, a unit of Icahn Enterprises L.P. (IEP.O)

Shares of the Bedford, Massachusetts-based company were largely unchanged at $22.20 in morning trade on the Nasdaq on Monday.

(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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