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Company

Former Brien Holden CEO to head Essilor’s philanthropy projects

03/12/2018
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Essilor has appointed Professor Kovin Naidoo to lead its philanthropic and social projects.

Naidoo – the former CEO of Australia’s Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) – has been appointed senior vice-president of inclusive business, philanthropy and social impact, the French company recently announced in a statement.

In what is a newly created position, he will be in charge of Essilor’s effort to reach 2.5 billion people living with uncorrected poor vision, 90% of whom live in developing countries.

Naidoo has also previously served as Associate Professor of Optometry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), and is the former Africa chairman of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.

An internationally recognised public health leader, he was recently awarded the American Academy of Optometry’s Carel C. Koch Memorial Medal Award for improving and developing relationships between optometry and other professions.

Essilor’s chief mission officer Mr Jayanth Bhuvaraghan said the company was delighted to have him on board.

“A longstanding friend of Essilor, Kovin has dedicated his professional life to delivering eyecare to people in need,” Bhuvaraghan said.

“As one of the leading minds working in solving the uncorrected refractive error problem around the world, his unique and diverse experience will add further strength to our inclusive business and philanthropic efforts around the world as we strive towards our ambition of eradicating poor vision by 2050.”

Naidoo said the role would reflect his passion of making a positive impact on the world’s vision.

“I have supported Essilor’s initiatives to reach those living with uncorrected poor vision for a long time both as a collaborator and independent adviser,” Naidoo said.

“Joining Essilor, an organisation that shares my commitment to the cause and personal values, gives me the opportunity to take my actions to a new scale and I look forward to working with such a dedicated team.”

Naidoo resigned suddenly as BHVI CEO in July after holding the position since Professor Brien Holden passed away in 2015.

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