Bausch + Lomb’s former CEO, Saunders, returns to lead now-publicly traded company

Bausch + Lomb Corp. on Wednesday said its former CEO, Brent Saunders, is returning as chief executive and chair of the board of directors, effective March 6. Saunders will maintain offices in Florida, where he resides, as well as at the eye care firm’s U.S. corporate offices in Bridgewater.

Concurrent with this appointment, as previously announced, Joseph Papa will step down from his roles as CEO and director. To facilitate an orderly transition, Saunders will join Bausch + Lomb on Thursday in an advisory capacity, where he will work closely with Papa. Additionally, effective upon Saunders’ appointment as chair, Thomas Ross Sr. will become the lead independent director of the board.

Saunders served as CEO of Bausch + Lomb from 2010 to 2013. In total, he brings more than 25 years of leadership in health care, having served in president, CEO and chairman roles, among others, at several global pharmaceutical and health care companies, including Schering-Plough Corp., Forest Laboratories Inc., Actavis PLC, Allergan PLC and the Beauty Health Co.

“We are delighted that the board’s thorough search process has concluded with the appointment of Brent Saunders as Bausch + Lomb’s next CEO. His strong inner-working knowledge of the company and unparalleled executive leadership experience in health care make him the ideal person to lead Bausch + Lomb at this pivotal time in our 170-year history,” Ross said. “We are confident that Bausch + Lomb is well-positioned for the future under Brent’s leadership as the company continues to focus on completing its full separation from Bausch Health.”

“I am honored to once again lead Bausch + Lomb during this exciting time as a new publicly traded company. Over the course of the company’s history, Bausch + Lomb has always stood at the forefront of cutting-edge scientific and technological optical advancements, and, today, Bausch + Lomb is more focused than ever on developing and offering new treatments to meet unmet eye health needs,” Saunders said.