Vernon Loucks, a former CEO of Baxter International and a member of the Modern Healthcare Hall of Fame, died Sunday at the age of 87.
Loucks began working at the medical supply giant as an assistant to then-director Bill Graham. Loucks rose through the ranks to become vice president of international business in 1968 and served as chief executive officer from 1980 to 1998. He was president from 1987 to 1999.
A Marine Corps officer and a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School, Loucks was responsible for quadrupling the company’s sales to $ 5.7 billion during his tenure and increasing the workforce from 30,000 to 42,000. Baxter also grew globally under Louck’s leadership. In 1985, Baxter bought American Hospital Supply Corp., which later spun off several divisions, including Caremark Rx.
In a profile written for Louck’s 2006 induction into the Modern Healthcare Hall of Fame, former colleagues said that his personal demeanor and leadership style were also important components of Baxter’s success.
“He was an excellent leader and an excellent human being,” said Terry Mulligan, former Chairman of the MedAsset Senior Advisory Council and a former Baxter executive who joined during the American Hospital Supply merger. “I don’t know how many people who are executives who run companies have previously worked for Vern.”
Mulligan confirmed that Loucks died in Pittsburgh.
Loucks was the first president of the Healthcare Leadership Council and later headed the healthcare investment and consulting firm, Aethena Group.