DeVivo Departure Signals Shift at Smith & Nephew

By Aisling Maki

Smith & Nephew Inc. said its Memphis-based president of Orthopaedic Reconstruction and Trauma will soon leave the company as part of an organizational restructuring that will combine the company’s Memphis and Andover, Mass., divisions.

Global orthopaedics company Smith & Nephew employs 2,000 people at its Memphis location at 1450 E. Brooks Road.
(Photo: Lance Murphey)

Joseph “Joe” DeVivo will leave his role as president of Orthopaedic Reconstruction and Trauma for Smith & Nephew on Aug. 5, said company spokesman Andrew Burns, who wouldn’t comment on what would be DeVivo’s next move.

DeVivo also confirmed his departure in an email to The Daily News, writing, “Yes, it is true,” but didn’t comment any further.

Burns told The Daily News Monday that Smith & Nephew will combine its Memphis-based Orthopaedic Reconstruction and Trauma division with its Andover-based Endoscopy division to form a new division that will be known as the Advanced Surgical Devices Division.

“What that division does and what we do, there’s a large degree of overlap among customers and patients in the orthopedic space, so this move is designed to get us more focused in the current business market,” said Burns, Smith & Nephew director of Global Marketing Communications.

The London-based medical device manufacturer’s orthopedics unit is based in Memphis, where it employs more than 2,000 people. However, Burns said no site closures or job losses are planned in connection with the new division.

Smith & Nephew’s new Advanced Surgical Devices Division will be led by Mike Frazzette, who has served as president of the Endoscopy division since 2006. The company said no decisions have been made regarding where Frazzette will be based.

DeVivo joined Smith & Nephew in June 2006. He previously served as president and CEO of RITA Medical Systems Inc. of Fremont, Calif., a manufacturer of ablation devices.

DeVivo has served as chairman of the board of the Greater Memphis Chamber and co-chair of the Memphis Fast Forward Economic Development Plan (MemphisED) since November. DeVivo was unanimously elected to fill the position after former FedEx Corp. senior vice president Tom Schmitt left the city.

Chamber president and CEO John Moore on Monday said an executive committee will convene in the near future to discuss the matter.

Smith & Nephew isn’t the only medical device manufacturer to undergo recent leadership changes. Wright Medical Group Inc., an Arlington-based manufacturer of orthopedic medical devices, this spring announced changes in leadership, most notably the appointment of Chairman David D. Stevens as interim president and CEO after Gary D. Henley resigned.

Henley, who served in his role since 2006, tendered his resignation prior to a board of directors meeting called to discuss management’s oversight of the company’s ongoing compliance program.

Wright Medical previously had come to an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that allowed the company to avoid prosecution for allegedly violating the federal kickback statute.

The company’s board accepted Henley’s resignation, but deemed it to be without “good reason” under the terms of his employment agreement, making him ineligible for severance.

Wright Medical at the same time announced the termination of Frank S. Bono, the company’s senior vice president and chief technology officer, for failing to exhibit appropriate regard for Wright’s ongoing compliance program.