Cochlear's CEO is going

John Robertson/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

Chris Smith is retiring as CEO of Cochlear after 13 years at the bionic ear maker.

A short time ago the shares were down 0.7% to $144.12. They are down 5.5% since last Wednesday’s close.

Dig Howitt, Cochlear’s chief operating officer since July 2016, will take over when Smith retires in January 2018.

Howitt has also been president, Asia Pacific, and senior vice president Manufacturing and Logistics since he joined the company in 2000.

“Cochlear is an incredible company with market leading technology and passionate and committed employees,” says Howitt.

Smith said: “Cochlear has clear momentum in its business, a well-defined strategy and a strong leadership team. It is a good time to transition out of the company.”

Cochlear, which releases its full year results on August 17, says earnings guidance is on track for a net profit of $210 million to $225 million, up from $189 million in 2016.

Howitt will get a base pay of $1.64 million plus long and short term incentives.

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