Miles White

Chairman and CEO / Abbott Laboratories

Charting a new course

With Miles D. White at the helm, Abbott enters
new and exciting markets

In January 2013, when Abbott Laboratories spun off its pharmaceutical arm into AbbVie Inc., many wondered if the split was a good move for the medical products giant. For starters, AbbVie was home to Humira, the world’s best-selling drug, with sales of more than $10 billion in 2013.

But Abbott Chairman and CEO Miles White held firm. The pharmaceutical business was evolving and needed to develop its own, separate identity, he argued.

"The strategy was fundamentally sound," White said. "We recognized that the two halves of the company would be better positioned to succeed as separate companies, and that’s proved to be the case for both."

Indeed, just as AbbVie prospered in its first year, Abbott has continued to see growth since the split. Abbott posted 2013 net sales of $21.8 billion, up 4 percent from the previous year, and sales in second quarter 2014 increased 3 percent. Credit White, who’s held the chairman and CEO positions since 1999, with keeping the company on course. While retaining Abbott’s diverse offering of health care products, which include coronary stents and lab equipment, White has led the company’s expansion into BRIC countries.

More than 70 percent of Abbott’s sales now come from international markets, with 50 percent of its products sold directly to customers, rather than third parties. "This is also advantageous, because people are making more of their own healthcare decisions and purchases than ever before," White said. As demand in those emerging markets grows, Abbott continues to develop new products and establish its position as a global leader in healthcare.

"We focus on developing new solutions that advance the standard of care in ways that make a real difference for the patient, the healthcare provider and the system," White said.

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