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Wednesday, July 17, 2024


Healthcare product specialist, Vernacare, has appointed James Steele as CEO, following the sale of the company to H.I.G. Capital, a leading global alternative asset manager, in February 2020.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the healthcare sector, James joins the business to spearhead global expansion. The firm manufactures a range of infection control products from its sites in Bolton and Buckshaw Village, exporting 170m units annually to more than 50 countries.

Currently Vernacare is experiencing a significant increase in products sales as global healthcare systems battle Covid-19. Production across the sites has increased to seven days to cope with demand.

James began his career at Proctor and Gamble’s Patient Care Division, working on adult continence products, rising to country manager for Norway. Following the sale of the division to family-owned Paper Pak Incorporated, James was appointed senior vice president and general manager in 2000.

He joined Attends Healthcare Ltd in 2002 as CEO and built the business over the next 13 years in the USA and across Europe, until it was bought by Dotmar Personal Care, creating a $1billon business.

After several years consulting on major healthcare consumable projects, he worked with private equity partner HIG on the recent sale.

He explains: “I am a long-time admirer of the Vernacare business as we have operated in similar fields. The company has an excellent relationship with the NHS and is market leader in the UK and has grown its international reach in recent years.

“This is the area I can add value, accelerating the global growth through excellence in distribution partnerships, clear ‘best in class’ messaging for our single use, disposable system and continuing to innovate and bring innovative products to the market.

“I didn’t expect to be joining the business at a time when infection control dominated all aspects of healthcare and I’ve been delighted at the strength and depth Vernacare is demonstrating during the covid-19 crisis. With an excellent reputation globally for infection control products, the organisation has stepped up with good commitment during this fast-paced event.

“With a good skillset from shop floor to the top level, the business has responded quickly, robustly and professionally to the challenges involved. We’ve been agile and swift to respond to unprecedented demand across every product category and have been able to build on good working practices to meet this demand and keep everyone safe.

“This crisis has amplified the argument that single use products offer best in class infection control practices and we will continue to innovate to keep patients and healthcare workers safe in years to come.

“I am excited by the challenge Vernacare brings and just a month into the role, impressed with the dedication and talent of the team here.”



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