LAKE FOREST, Ill., Aug. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The board of directors of Hospira, Inc. (NYSE: HSP ), a global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery company, today announced that Christopher B. Begley, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), has indicated his intent to retire from the CEO position after more than six years of dedicated service. Begley will serve as CEO until his successor is named. He will then remain an employee of the company as executive chairman of the Hospira board, ensuring continuity of leadership and an orderly transition of his CEO responsibilities.
"Launching Hospira as an independent company has been the most rewarding experience of my three decades in healthcare, and I've been extremely privileged to work with such a talented and dedicated team of employees to advance wellness for our stakeholders around the globe," said Begley. "Over the last six years we have transformed this company from one of declining sales and margins to strong growth and profitability, and the time is right for a new CEO to lead Hospira on its patient-focused journey to sustainable top-tier financial performance. I look forward to remaining an active contributor to Hospira, confident the company is stronger and better positioned for success now than at any point in our rich history."
As the company's founding CEO, Begley oversaw Hospira's 2004 spin-off from Abbott Laboratories, drove the development of the company's business strategies and growth plans, and created the company's guiding principles -- its vision, values and stakeholder commitments. During his tenure, Begley doubled Hospira's geographic footprint and revenue outside the United States, improved adjusted gross margins by more than 1,000 basis points, generated more than $3 billion in cash flow from operations, and doubled its market capitalization.
In 2009, Begley launched Proj