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CSL (ASX:CSL) share price dips on CEO departure

The CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price is down after it was announced the company’s leader, Paul Perreault, is stepping down.

CSL is Australia’s largest biotechnology business.

New CSL CEO and managing director

CSL said that Dr Paul McKenzie is going to be the new CEO and managing director of CSL from 6 March 2023.

Paul Perreault has been the leader of CSL for 10 years and has been working in the company for 25 years.

McKenzie will immediately join the board of directors as an executive director. Mr Perreault will remain with the company as a strategic advisor to assist in an orderly transition until he retires on 6 September 2023.

What are McKenzie’s credentials?

He has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the global biotech industry. McKenzie joined CSL as the chief operating officer in 2019.

In CSL he has been “accountable for optimising CSL’s operations as well as growing the CSL Seqirus, CSL Plasma, and CSL Vifor businesses.”

CSL said that he “transformed CSL’s global end-to-end operations, advanced CSL Seqirus’ differentiated portfolio strategy, and led CSL Plasma through COVID-19 challenges while surpassing plasma collection volumes beyond pre-pandemic levels.”

He has also served as an executive in various roles in a number of international businesses, including Johnson & Johnson.

It’ll be interesting to see how the CSL share price performs under his leadership.

Management comments

The CSL Chair Dr Brian McNamee said:

Paul McKenzie is a patient-focused global leader with a demonstrated track record of leading complex organizations and delivering outstanding business results. With his deep understanding of CSL’s strategy, culture and operations, Paul is well positioned to lead CSL to its next level of sustainable growth for our shareholders and the patients we serve around the world.

Thoughts on this management change

Under Perreault’s management, the CSL share price has climbed enormously and delivered a lot of value to shareholders.

Will it be able to keep performing in the future? Hopefully. The CEO isn’t the one doing the product development and many other roles, but the strategic decisions are important.

There are smaller ASX shares that I think have more growth potential than CSL over the next five years, though CSL does have good tailwinds by being in the healthcare sector.

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