Elanco Animal Health names new board chairman
Elanco Animal Health Inc.’s board of directors has named Lawrence E. Kurzius as its next chairman of the board, effective at the conclusion of the company’s 2024 annual meeting of shareholders. Kurzius, a member of the Elanco board since 2018, will succeed Chairman R. David Hoover, who will remain on the board as an independent director.
“It has been a privilege to serve as chairman of Elanco’s board to help guide the company through its first five years as an independent public company,” Hoover said. “In that period, we have transformed Elanco into a diversified, durable animal health leader with greater global scale, a more balanced product mix and a strong omnichannel presence in the pet health industry. The board has had an intentional plan to evolve our governance and leadership over time as the company has matured, including the initiation of our leadership succession plan which began this past summer. With the standup and the successful integration of Bayer Animal Health behind us and an exciting future of long-term value creation expected ahead with anticipated blockbuster innovation launches, it is the right time to execute our plans.”
Elanco previously announced its plan to amend the company’s corporate governing documents with proposals to be presented at the 2024 annual meeting of shareholders, including beginning a process to declassify the board of directors, providing shareholders the right to amend the company’s bylaws and enabling shareholders, under certain circumstances, to call special meetings. Elanco also intends to seek shareholder approval to modify the voting standard for uncontested director elections from a plurality standard to a majority of votes cast.
After the 2024 annual meeting, the board plans to rotate committee leadership with Michael Harrington assuming the role of chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee and Kirk McDonald serving as chairman of the Compensation and Human Capital Committee.
“On behalf of the entire Board, I want to thank Dave for his dedication to Elanco during his tenure as chairman,” Kurzius said. “The board has benefitted greatly from Dave’s leadership skills, industry knowledge and financial and strategic acumen, and we expect to continue to benefit from his guidance as an independent member of our board.
“I am honored to be designated as the next chairman of the board. Today’s announcement, including board and committee leadership rotation and enhanced shareholder rights, reflects our commitment to robust corporate governance and shareholder engagement. The board and the company’s leadership team remain laser focused on advancing our strategy, and I remain confident in our ability to realize the benefits of our scale, portfolio diversity, product mix and innovation delivery to drive sustainable growth and long-term value for shareholders.”
Kurzius has served as executive chairman of McCormick & Co. Inc., a global food company, since 2017. He also served as CEO of McCormick from 2016 to 2023 and president from 2015 to 2022. He held roles of increasing responsibility at the company beginning in 2003, including president and chief operating officer (from 2015 to 2016), president of the company’s global consumer business (from 2013 to 2016), chief administrative officer (from 2013 to 2015) and president of EMEA (from 2007 to 2008). Prior to joining McCormick, Kurzius served as CEO of Zatarain’s, a spice company, from 1991 to 2003. Earlier in his career, he was a marketing executive with the Quaker Oats Co. and Mars Inc.’s Uncle Ben’s Co. Kurzius also serves on the board of The Cooper Cos. Inc., a global medical device company.