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Oct 20, 2022

What leading Philips means to me

By Roy Jakobs
CEO Philips

Estimated reading time: 4-6 minutes

On Saturday, October 15, 2022, I became CEO of Philips. You can imagine the sense of responsibility I am feeling as I begin leading a business that has been innovating for impact for over 130 years.

Philips exists to make a difference and, as a health technology company, our aim is to make a meaningful difference to millions of lives, every day, all over the world. Yet while we are a strong company with much to be proud of, we are managing substantial challenges, while also contending with these difficult global times. But I start my new job excited and determined to turn things around. I am committed to serving the patients who rely on us, to working ever more closely with the doctors, nurses and healthcare managers we partner with, and to enabling people everywhere to improve their health and well-being.

So, as I start on the journey, I want you to know that I come into this role with a clear view of what I stand for and what I want Philips to be known for – people-centered, high-quality care.

Delivering on this is what matters most, and that will require us to double down on what we do best, continuing to innovate, but also urgently fixing things where we have disappointed patients and customers. This will, of course, also help to restore our financial health.

Partnering with care providers, I want to ensure we’re doing all we can to help patients.

The benefits of people-centered, high-quality care cannot be understated. We all have experiences reminding us of this. My first experience was with severe asthma and allergies as a child. I had to go to the hospital three times a week for several years to get treated. While I found it tough to live with this condition as a child, it certainly made me appreciate the value of good health and access to quality healthcare.

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For me, getting things right for patients and providing reliable support to the doctors and nurses treating them is what makes working in healthcare so deeply rewarding. It is also a great responsibility, and the technological innovation that Philips brings to the world of health is critical. Effective diagnosis and treatment, for example, can restore patients’ quality of life. Remote monitoring solutions and virtual technologies can expand access to care and eliminate unnecessary hospital visits. There are countless examples of how advances in technology are making healthcare more effective, connected and personalized, benefiting patients, doctors and nurses. 

I’m also mindful of the pain caused when expected levels of care fall short. The product recall of our Respironics sleep apnea devices let down the many patients who relied on them, as well as the doctors and nurses caring for those patients, for which I am deeply sorry. While I can point to many great ways Philips is helping to improve people’s health and well-being, any quality issue across the company hurts.

My priority as CEO is to restore Philips' status as a people-centered, high-quality company – one with a promising future founded on innovation. Partnering with care providers, our customers, I want to ensure we’re doing all we can to help patients. That’s why I find talking to doctors, nurses and leaders of health systems so crucial; I want to understand what keeps them up at night.

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The industry is facing rising costs, staff shortages and strained resources, which are all testing staff morale. While access to data is improving, interpreting it is not easy. Inequality is increasing in both developed and developing countries. These are among the many challenges we need to urgently address.

Our customers tell me that they want to move with speed to improve the patient and staff experience. They are looking for innovations that can help improve health outcomes and productivity, deliver more sustainable and more convenient care, and tackle the challenges that make healthcare too slow and too complex.

I look forward to strengthening ties with you and working together to co-innovate and co-create solutions that drive impact for patients, staff and health systems.

My message to doctors and nurses and those of you leading health systems is that Philips is here to partner with you. I look forward to strengthening ties with you and working together to co-innovate and co-create solutions that drive impact for patients, staff and health systems. 

At the same time, I want to empower people everywhere to better manage their health and well-being. Philips’ personal health solutions support self-care and help individuals and families embrace care routines that promote healthy living and disease prevention.

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At Philips, our purpose to improve people's health and well-being through meaningful innovation is our great driving force. For me, that means delivering high-quality innovations that:

(1) Empower people to live healthier lives and improve their well-being. For example, by providing innovations that help people take care of their oral health and personal hygiene, and giving mothers and fathers access to personalized guidance before, during, and after a newborn enters the world.

(2) Enable better, more sustainable and more convenient care:

  • ‘Better’ by improving health outcomes through precision diagnosis, monitoring and therapies.
  • ‘More sustainable’ by making healthcare systems smarter and more resilient, more productive and less energy-intensive, enabling greater health equity and access to care.
  • ‘More convenient’ by improving the patient and staff experience through patient journey and workflow optimization, supporting care in and across hospital, clinical and home settings.
  • All underpinned by value-adding informatics solutions that can scale and provide actionable insights to improve the delivery of care in hospital, home and ambulatory settings. 

This is the Philips promise and my promise as CEO – with the goal of people-centered, high-quality care as our guiding light.

I look forward to connecting with you and to the journey ahead.

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Roy Jakobs

Roy Jakobs

CEO Philips

Roy Jakobs is the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Philips. As CEO, he is also Chairman of the Board of Management and the Executive Committee.
With his extensive global executive leadership experience, Roy drives Philips’ strategy to help deliver people-centered, high-quality care.
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