Press Releases

Willem Appelo to succeed Sophie Bechu as Philips’ Chief Operations Officer

June 7, 2022

Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced that Willem (Wim) Appelo will join Philips’ Executive Committee, effective July 18, 2022, and succeed Sophie Bechu as Chief Operations Officer per October 1, 2022. Mr. Appelo will report to Philips CEO Frans van Houten and work closely with Mrs. Bechu to ensure a seamless transition. Mrs. Bechu, who joined Philips in 2016, will step down from her role on October 1, 2022, after which she will work on project-based initiatives until she retires at the end of January, 2023.

Mr. Appelo (Dutch, 1964) will join Philips after having worked as interim Supply Chain Officer, and with private equity firms in the medical technology industry for the last year. Before that, he was Vice President Supply Chain Strategy, Innovation & Deployment at Johnson & Johnson, where he led the Enterprise Supply Chain Global Strategy and Innovation team across the company’s three operating segments: Pharma, Consumer Health, and Medical Devices. Prior to that, Mr. Appelo was Johnson & Johnson’s Vice President Supply Chain Medical Devices. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, he held various senior positions at Xerox Corporation, ultimately as President, Global Delivery and Technology Group, where he was responsible for Xerox’s then newly-created Global Supplies Business Group.

“I am very pleased that Wim Appelo will be joining Philips as our new Chief Operations Officer,” said Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips. “Wim brings a wealth of relevant experience to Philips, adding in-depth knowledge and understanding of medical technology and informatics supply chain management, which will help Philips accelerate its journey to becoming a health technology solutions leader. I want to thank Sophie for her highly valuable contribution to Philips and her relentless focus and deep commitment to establishing Philips’ Integrated Supply Chain organization since joining in 2016. During that time, she successfully optimized our supplier base and manufacturing footprint, continually driving operational excellence with a customer-first mindset.”

Mr. Appelo’s appointment to Philips’ Executive Committee builds on last year’s appointment of Shez Partovi, MD, as Chief Medical, Innovation & Strategy Officer, and member of Philips’ Executive Committee. Dr. Partovi brings highly relevant experience to Philips given his prior roles as neuroradiologist at the Barrow Neurological Institute, Chief Digital Officer at Dignity Health, and Worldwide Head of Healthcare, Life Sciences and Medical Devices at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Philips has continued to strengthen its senior management across the company with the appointment of 30 experienced healthcare and medical technology leaders over the past three years.

Additional information on Philips’ Executive Committee can be found here.

For further information, please contact:

Ben Zwirs
Philips Global Press Office
Tel.: +31 6 1521 3446

Derya Guzel
Philips Investor Relations
Tel.: +31 20 59 77055

About Royal Philips
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and well-being, and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2021 sales of EUR 17.2 billion and employs approximately 79,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at