Former UNC System President Tom Ross was elected board chair of Bausch + Lomb Corp., a Vaughan, Canada-based eye health company. He succeeds CEO Joseph Papa as chair of the company, which has its main operations in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Papa remains CEO while the board seeks his successor.
“Joe has done an incredible job as the former leader of Bausch Health and current leader of Bausch + Lomb. 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,” Ross said in a press release.
Bausch + Lomb is a 90% owned subsidiary of Laval, Quebec-based Bausch Health, which has struggled because of a large debtload. The subsidiary has 12,000 employees and makes more than 400 products including contact lenses.
Bausch + Lomb was spun off in May with its shares initially trading at $20, with a ticker symbol of BLCO. It closed Wednesday at $15.14. It has a market value of $5.4 billion
Bausch Health, which trades as BHC, closed Wednesday at $9.18. It has a market cap of $3.2 billion. Its chair is Wall Street investor John Paulson of Paulson & Co.
Papa’s departure wasn’t tied to any disagreement with the board, according to the release.
Ross has been a Bausch Health director since 2016. He was president of UNC for five years after previously serving in the same post at Davidson College. He also was executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem, a Superior Court judge, and, most recently, a former president of the Volcker Alliance, which promotes empowering the public sector workforce. Earlier this year, he was one of the court-appointed “special masters” tasked with redrawing congressional districts.