2020 Elite Leadership IMPACT Award Recipient – Robert B. Ford

We are very excited to recognize Robert B. Ford, President and Chief Executive Officer of Abbott, with a 2020 Elite Leadership IMPACT Award in business and science.

Robert succeeded Abbott’s long-time CEO, Miles White, on March 31, 2020 right at the beginning of the pandemic. Mr. White was also a mentor for Robert. According to the World Health Organization, testing will be the key to beating the coronavirus pandemic. Robert Ford and Abbott, stepped up to help make this come to fruition.

As a leading supplier of virus testing solutions, his first order of business was to develop and deliver point-of-care COVID-19 tests to the world. To meet this challenge, Abbott developed and received Emergency Use Authorization for eight COVID-19 tests in the U.S. during 2020. Each test plays a role in helping to tackle the pandemic and providing people the opportunity to return to school, work and other facets of their lives by delivering positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes.

By the end of the year, they had shipped more than 300 million COVID-19 tests globally across their various platforms and added an at-home test to the portfolio in December. Abbott’s vision is to decentralize and democratize testing by bringing testing to more people in more places to help slow the spread of the virus.

Robert is No. 106 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies.

Read the articles and watch the videos below to see how Robert has led in the fight against COVID-19. Thanks, Robert, for being such an elite leader in these challenging times.

Once I started working in healthcare, I realized it’s just amazing to help bring
new things to market and innovate. It’s cool to do apps for Google or Apple,
but (impacting) people’s lives is cooler.”
– Robert B. Ford


Robert Ford is Abbott’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Previously, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for all of the company’s operating businesses; and Executive Vice President, Medical Devices, leading our Diabetes Care, Cardiovascular and Neuromodulation businesses.

He joined Abbott’s Diagnostics division in 1996 as a Business Unit Manager in Diabetes Care. He subsequently held various positions of increasing responsibility for Abbott’s Diagnostics, Nutrition and Diabetes Care businesses.

Mr. Ford earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a master’s degree in business administration from UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business.


Abbott Announces Robert B. Ford to Succeed Miles D. White As Chief Executive Officer On March 31, 2020, Abbott, November 2019

World’s Most Admired Companies 2020, Fortune, January 2020

Best Big Companies to Work For, Fortune, February 2020

Abbott Leads Industry in Sustainability for 8 Years, Abbott, November 2020

Abbott, Best Companies, Working Mother, December 2020


Abbot Laboratories Announces 5-Minute COVID-19 Test, IndustryWeek, March 2020

CEO of the Week: Abbott Laboratories CEO Robert B. Ford, Chief Executive, April 2020

World Changing Ideas Awards 2020: World Changing Company of the Year Finalists, Fast Company, April 2020

This Pea-Size Device Helps Fix Holes in Babies’ Hearts, Fast Company, April 2020

Abbott’s BinaxNOW Covid-19 Rapid Test Receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization for First Virtually Guided, At-Home Rapid Test Using Emed’s Digital Health Platform, Abbott, December 2020


Your Health Has Our Full Attention, Abbott, January 2020

Preparing for Hurricane Season, Abbott, July 2020

OP-ED: Abbott CEO Says Coronavirus Testing Needs to Be Done on A Massive Scale to Fight Pandemic, CNBC, August 2020

Helping Families Following Hurricanes, Abbott, October 2020

A Rapid Test Offers Hope for Community Screening, New York Times, October 2020

As Vaccines Roll Out, Americans See Covid-19 Testing as Important Partner, Abbott, December 2020