The Executive Board of Linde AG has appointed Kristen Hoefer Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lincare Inc., Clearwater, Florida, a subsidiary of The Linde Group, effective 1 March 2015.

Hoefer succeeds John Byrnes, who has been CEO of Lincare since 1997 and is retiring from the company on the expiry of his contract at the end of February.

“We’re delighted that we’ve been able to attract the calibre of Kristen Hoefer, a proven healthcare executive with international experience. I am confident that she will continue to apply and develop the successful approach we’ve adopted to date in our strategically important healthcare business,” said Dr. Wolfgang Büchele, Chief Executive Officer of Linde AG. “Under the leadership of John Byrnes, Lincare has seen dynamic growth, becoming the largest homecare company in the United States. We would like to thank him for his unflagging dedication and continuous commitment to Lincare,” pointed Wolfgang Büchele out, adding that Byrnes had made a significant contribution towards the strong market presence Lincare can boast today.

Hoefer holds degrees in bioengineering and business. She has held a number of management positions of increasing responsibility across many businesses of the global diversified health care company Abbott Laboratories, where she has spent more than twenty years. In her most recent role, she was responsible for the company’s pharmaceutical business in Western Europe.

Lincare is the number one in the US respiratory homecare market. Respiratory homecare involves the treatment of patients with chronic respiratory diseases in settings other than hospitals. Respiratory therapies offered by Lincare include oxygen therapy and inhalation therapy.

Lincare was acquired by Linde in August 2012. As a result of this transaction, Linde became the world’s leading healthcare provider in the gases industry. In the 2013 financial year, Linde generated revenue of more than €3bn through its Healthcare business.