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Alumnus Earns Place Among Fortune’s 2016 Top Business Leaders

December 1, 2016

Michael Mussallem

Life Sciences Leader: Chemical engineering alumnus Michael Mussallem has led Edwards Lifesciences Corp. since 2000. The Irvine, Calif.-based company has become a world leader in heart valve technologies.

As chairman and chief executive officer of Edwards Lifesciences Corp., alumnus Michael Mussallem ranks among such executives as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Apple’s Tim Cook in Fortune magazine’s list of the top 50 businesspersons for 2016.

The ranking was based on the magazine’s review of company profits, revenues and stock performance, along with factors such as return on capital and debt.

Edwards Lifesciences is a world leader in heart valve technologies. Mussallem has headed the Irvine, Calif.-based company since it was spun off from Baxter International Inc. in 2000. He previously had a variety of positions with increasing responsibility in engineering, product development and senior management at Baxter, including group vice president of its cardiovascular business from 1994 to 2000, and group vice president of its biopharmaceutical business from 1998 to 2000. 

Mussallem is a 1974 chemical engineering alumnus who received an honorary doctorate in 1999, and returned to Rose-Hulman to give the 2015 commencement address.

In recent years, Mussallem has become a national life sciences leader, serving on the boards and executive committees of the Advanced Medical Technology Association and Healthcare Leadership Council. He is an advisory board member for the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics at the University of Southern California, and is the former chairman of the board of directors of the California Healthcare Institute (CHI).

He also has joined his wife, Linda, in promoting healthy lifestyles. The couple provided the $9-million lead gift to Rose-Hulman’s Hulman Student Union expansion project, which will incorporate an emphasis on health and wellness to benefit the campus community. (Construction was started in May and the final steel beam was recently added the project.)