PE-backed Performance Health appoints CEO

Performance Health, which is backed by Madison Dearborn Partners, has named Francis Dirksmeier as CEO. His appointment becomes effective February 25, 2019. Previously, he was president of Henry Schein Animal Health – North America. Based in Warrenville, Illinois, Performance Health is a provider of products to the rehabilitation, physical therapy and sports medicine markets.


WARRENVILLE, Ill., Feb. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Performance Health, a leader in consumer healthcare and the largest global manufacturer and distributor of products to the rehabilitation, physical therapy, and sports medicine markets, announced today that it has named Francis “Fran” Dirksmeier as Chief Executive Officer, effective February 25, 2019. Dirksmeier will also serve as a Director on the Performance Health Board of Directors. He takes over for an Interim Executive Committee, which comprised Mike McGoohan, Chief Marketing Officer, and Greg Nulty, Chief Financial Officer, both of whom will remain in their current leadership positions at Performance Health.

Dirksmeier joins Performance Health from Henry Schein Animal Health – North America, a $2.0 billion distributor of animal health products and services comprising the largest portion of Henry Schein’s global animal health business. As President since 2015, he grew the business through acquisitions, by implementing new distribution strategies and successfully establishing a customer centric culture and mission. During his tenure, the business achieved double digit revenue and operating margin growth.

“On behalf of our Board of Directors, I am pleased to welcome Fran to the Performance Health team,” said Harry Kraemer, Chairman of Performance Health’s Board and Executive Partner of Madison Dearborn Partners, the investment adviser of several funds which hold a majority ownership position in Performance Health. “Fran has more than 30 years of commercial and leadership experience and is recognized for building high performance teams and driving profitable growth at healthcare product distribution companies. The Board is confident that Fran’s deep skill set, experience in driving strategic and operational excellence, and focus on supporting a strong, entrepreneurial culture will propel Performance Health toward an even more innovative and prosperous future.”

“It’s an honor to be named CEO of Performance Health, and I am excited to lead a company that is recognized for its market-leading brands, best-in-class customer service and product innovation,” said Fran Dirksmeier. “I share Performance Health’s commitment to operating with the highest integrity, working collaboratively and advancing our mission to help consumers and patients feel good, perform better and live their best lives. Working together with the Board and the dedicated employees of Performance Health, I look forward to building on the company’s strong foundation and driving growth across all industry segments to the benefit of our customers, partners, patients and consumers alike.”

Prior to joining Henry Schein Animal Health – North America, in 2002 Mr. Dirksmeier co-founded Agility Healthcare Solutions and as CEO grew the company into a multi-million-dollar venture. Among other accomplishments, he developed the first radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled, web-based mobile asset inventory management, distribution and utilization system. As a result of Agility’s success, GE Healthcare acquired the company in 2008 and appointed Dirksmeier the leader of integrated solutions and the general manager of the global asset management and hospital operations management platforms. Earlier in his career, Dirksmeier held numerous roles at McKesson Corporation from 1997 to 2002, including serving as President of McKesson Medical-Surgical, a $3 billion medical supply distribution company, where he focused the company’s growth strategies on a platform of operational excellence and customer satisfaction for its acute care, primary care and long-term care business segments. He also implemented a high-performance culture and achieved significant annual operating savings. Dirksmeier holds a BA in Business Management from Assumption College.

About Performance Health
Headquartered in Warrenville, Illinois, with significant operations in Akron, Ohio, Performance Health is a leader in consumer healthcare and the largest global manufacturer and distributor of products to the rehabilitation, physical therapy, and sports medicine markets. The company’s products are sold to leading healthcare facilities and practitioners such as physical therapists, athletic trainers, and chiropractors, and direct to consumers across all key brick-and-mortar and online retail channels. Its market-leading brands include Biofreeze, TheraBand, TheraPearl, Cramer, Sammons Preston and Roylan. More information is available at

About Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC
Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC (MDP), based in Chicago, is a leading private equity investment firm in the United States. Since MDP’s formation in 1992, the firm has raised seven funds with aggregate capital of approximately $23 billion and has completed approximately 140 investments. MDP is currently investing out of its most recent fund, $4.4 billion MDCP Fund VII, in businesses across a broad spectrum of industries, including health care; basic industries; business and government software and services; financial and transaction services; and telecom, media and technology (TMT) services. For more information, please visit