ILC Dover appoints new CEO Walker
NEWARK – ILC Dover, the specialized engineering development and manufacturing company long based in Delaware, recently shook up its C-Suite with Corey Walker, an experienced life sciences, advanced technologies and applied materials executive, taking over as CEO, effective Nov. 15.
Walker replaces Fran DiNuzzo, who had led the company since 2015. DiNuzzo will reportedly retain his seat on the ILC Dover board of directors. New Mountain Capital declined an interview request with Walker.
It’s been two years of change at ILC, which moved its headquarters to the University of Delaware STAR Campus from its longtime Federica plant in January. New Mountain Capital, a New York firm with $35 billion in assets under management, acquired ILC in February 2020 in a deal with another private equity firm, Behrman Capital.
The new chief executive comes to Delaware after working closely with ILC’s private equity firm owner, New Mountain Capital, from 2016 to 2020. He was then a senior executive at Avantor, a chemicals and materials company headquartered outside Philadelphia, serving as executive vice president of the Americas, as well as the global Biomaterials and Electronic Materials businesses.
Bjorn Hofman, senior advisor at New Mountain Capital and chairman of the ILC Dover board of directors, said Walker’s experience at Fortune 500 firms “makes him uniquely suited to lead the company.”
“Under the leadership of Fran DiNuzzo since 2014, ILC Dover has transformed into a world leader in the innovative design and production of engineered products and become a trusted partner to customers in the biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, medical device, advanced technologies and space industries. On behalf of the company and board of directors, I would like to thank Fran for his outstanding contributions as CEO,” he added.
The change at the top also comes as New Mountain Capital looks to capitalize on ILC Dover’s increasing move toward the pharmaceutical and medical device market and away from the industry that made it famous decades ago: aerospace. It famously outfitted the spacesuits on NASA’s Apollo missions. Now it produces an array of containment equipment for research and development and manufacturing, respiratory apparatus and more.
DiNuzzo told Delaware Business Times earlier this year that ILC had grown its commercial product sales business to about 60%, about three times more than when he took over as CEO six years ago.
In August, ILC acquired Flexan, a Chicago-area contract design and manufacturing organization (CDMO) that builds components for medical device makers. In September 2020, it acquired Solo Containment, a specialist manufacturer of flexible film isolators based in the United Kingdom. The acquisitions mean that ILC now boasts 1,900 employees across the world, more than triple its prior headcount.
In its announcement, New Mountain Capital said that Walker, who has nearly two decades of experience in life sciences and advanced materials businesses, including at DCP Midstream, Halliburton Energy Services, Dow Chemical and Dell Technology, would help accelerate the transformational focus of ILC.
“Corey has a proven track record of driving profitable revenue growth, and his operational and strategic experience in life sciences makes him the right next leader for ILC Dover,” said Andre Moura, managing director at New Mountain Capital, in a statement announcing the appointment.
Walker said he was “drive the next chapter of growth of the company.”
“After the acquisition of Flexan, ILC Dover is an established leader in providing mission-critical engineered solutions to the biopharma, pharma and medical devices markets. The deep heritage of world-class manufacturing, customer partnership and product innovation support a vision of creating the premier supplier of high-performance flexible materials across life sciences, space and advanced technologies,” he said in a statement.
Any discussion of the C-suite leadership at ILC is incomplete if Bill Wallach is not mentioned. Bill spent 20+ years at the company, with over a decade as its President/CEO. Illness forced Bill to reduce his role in 2015 or so, but he, more than anyone, is responsible for putting the company in positioning to realize its current level of growth and success.