February 5, 2024

Grifols announces changes in governance to separate management from ownership as part of planned strategy

  • Raimon Grifols and Víctor Grifols Deu decide to transition out of their respective executive positions and will remain on the Grifols Board, now as proprietary directors
  • Thomas Glanzmann continues as Executive Chairman; the company names Nacho Abia as Chief Executive Officer
  • The moves are part of a long-planned, carefully architected corporate governance evolution strategy that Raimon Grifols and Víctor Grifols Deu initiated in 2022, together with the Board, to steadily separate ownership from company management, setting a new standard for family businesses listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange
  • Abia, an accomplished senior executive with 25 years of international management experience at publicly traded life-science and medical-technology companies, will assume his responsibilities on April 1, 2024

Barcelona, Spain, February 5, 2024 – Grifols (MCE:GRF, MCE:GRF.P, NASDAQ:GRFS), a global healthcare company and leading manufacturer of plasma-derived medicines, today announced that Raimon Grifols and Víctor Grifols Deu have chosen to step down from their executive functions – Chief Corporate Officer and Chief Operating Officer, respectively – while continuing on the Grifols Board, now in the category of proprietary directors.

Thomas Glanzmann remains the Executive Chairman, and Nacho Abia will become Chief Executive Officer.

Abia is a seasoned senior executive with 25 years of international management experience at publicly traded life-science and medical-technology companies. He was most recently Executive Officer and Global Chief Strategy Officer of Tokyo-based Olympus Corporation, a Nikkei-listed company with 33,000 employees that specializes in medical technology and is a global leader in diagnostics and minimally invasive treatments. Abia was responsible for Corporate Strategy and Planning, Business Development and Global Operating Model, with all Olympus regional presidents reporting to him. Prior to that he was Executive Officer and Global Chief Operating Officer, responsible for all Olympus vertical divisions including Endoscopic Solutions, Therapeutic Solutions and Scientific Solutions, with combined revenues of more than USD 7 billion.

He will be appointed Board member on February 26 and assume his responsibilities as CEO on April 1, focusing on enhancing Grifols’ current growth strategy, furthering operational excellence and continuing to execute the company’s deleveraging plan.

Abia becoming CEO as well as the decision by Raimon Grifols and Víctor Grifols Deu to step down from their current roles after a smooth transition are part of a succession roadmap that the two Grifols executives, along with the Board, set in motion back in 2022. The Board awaited activation until the company’s post-pandemic recovery had solidified. Well-orchestrated handoffs have begun to ensure appropriate knowledge transfers, organizational adaption, and smooth continuity of business operations.

The transition began in earnest in the first months of 2023, when Thomas Glanzmann became Executive Chairman then CEO, and Raimon Grifols and Víctor Grifols Deu took on their current responsibilities. At that time the selection process for a new CEO accelerated. In December 2023, Victor Grifols Roura retired from the Board and was substituted by Albert Grifols Coma-Cros.

Grifols, which has pioneered so many innovations over the decades, now also sets a new corporate governance standard for family businesses listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange.

“My deepest thanks and appreciation on behalf of the Board to Raimon and Victor, not just for their leadership and significant valuable contribution to the growth of the company but also on having made the considered decision to clearly separate ownership and management, a principle fully supported by the Board,” said Glanzmann, Executive Chairman and CEO. “The deep family values that have made this company uniquely admired for 115 years will always be the hallmark of Grifols. The Board also welcomes the incoming CEO Nacho Abia, who has the experience, professional depth, and operational track record to take Grifols to new levels.”

The Board, supportive of the company’s deliberate, stepwise approach to leadership succession, was instrumental in the search for Abia.

It is the opportunity of a lifetime to take the helm of Grifols, a revered and renowned global leader with enormous growth potential,” said Abia. “I’m looking forward to being a part of this legendary organization and helping it continue reaching its ambitious goals.”

Said Raimon Grifols and Grifols Deu: “As co-CEOs and then in our current positions we are proud to have contributed to building a world-class organization with exceptional talent to drive increasing business growth and innovation excellence, which will only get stronger in the years ahead.”

Raimon Grifols and Víctor Grifols Deu were co-CEOs from January 2017 until May 2023, succeeding Victor Grifols Roura. Over these six years, Grifols grew internationally, managed through COVID and began its impressive post-pandemic recovery that included important strategic agreements to grow its industry-leading plasma franchise in new and growing markets including Canada, China and Egypt. They established the current organizational structure featuring the business unit lineup, a redoubled focus on innovation and a reinforced senior management team driving growth.

Both represent, respectively, the third and fourth generations of the family that has made Grifols a leading company, which began with its founder, Josep Antoni Grifols i Roig, in 1909. Today it is one of the world’s top three companies in the global plasma industry and among the 40 most important pharmaceutical companies worldwide (by revenues). Grifols today is present in more than 110 countries and is a fundamental contributor to the health and well-being of society.

Nacho Abia

Abia, a national of both Spain and the United States, is a 20-year veteran of Olympus Corporation. He has held various senior executive management positions with the company in Japan, the U.S. and Europe, including CEO of Olympus Corporation of Americas for more than a decade and Global Chief Operating Officer. Prior to this he was with Sony Corporation, for which he was South Europe Marketing Manager for Sony Europe (Amsterdam) and Division Manager for Sony Spain (Barcelona). He is member of the Board of the Advanced Medical Technology Association, Washington, D.C., a member of the Board of the Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce, New York City, and also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Lehigh Valley Health Network (Pennsylvania).

Abia is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program (PADE) of the IESE Business School, University of Navarra, Barcelona. He also holds an MBA from EAE Business School, Barcelona, and a Master of Science in Telecommunication and Electronics Engineering, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona.