Invacare Announces Mal Mixon & J.B. Richey Retirements

Two key and long-serving Invacare Corp. executives have announced their retirements.

A. Malachi "Mal" Mixon, Invacare's founder, will retire as executive chairman of the board of directors on Dec. 21, though he will remain on the board as a non-employee member, the company announced Nov. 14. During the board's annual meeting in 2015, Invacare said Mixon will be nominated for one more term. After that, Mixon will reach the board's mandatory retirement age of 75.

On the same day as the Mixon announcement, Invacare also said Joseph B. "J.B." Richey, president of Invacare Technologies division and senior VP of electronic and design engineering, would also be retiring. Richey's retirement went into effect on Nov. 30.

Richey joined Invacare in July 1984, and Mixon described him as a "critical member of a small group of investors that founded the Invacare Corp. that we all know today. With his financial support and then his engineering support in advancing the technology for our product portfolio, Invacare became a leader in innovation. J.B.'s commitment to research and development has been an important contributor to Invacare's growth and success."

Invacare noted that during his tenure, Mixon led Invacare from annual net sales of $19 million in 1979 - when Mixon, Richey and other investors bought the company - to annual net sales of $1.4 billion in 2013.

In explaining his departure, Mixon said, "Over the past 35 years, I have had the privilege of leading and guiding Invacare's evolution into a global manufacturer and distributor of medical devices that promote recovery and active lifestyles. At this important transition point in the company's history, I feel that now is the appropriate time for me to retire and let the next generation of leadership guide the company into the future. I have full confidence in our management team as they work to restore profitability in the North America and Asia/Pacific businesses and exit the injunctive phase of the company's consent decree with the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA)."

Invacare announced it had come under an FDA consent decree in December 2012. During different portions of the consent decree, Invacare's abilities to design and produce many manual and power wheelchairs and wheelchair components at its Elyria, Ohio, facilities have been curtailed. Invacare's other operations around the world were not affected.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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