Construction is underway on a new headquarters building for Covetrus Inc. The veterinary services company missed revenue projections in its first full quarter as a publicly traded firm. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Covetrus Inc. co-founder David Shaw is stepping down as chairman of the Portland-based company’s board of directors but will remain on the board as a director, the company said Wednesday.

The animal-health technology and services firm said Benjamin Wolin will take over as chairman. Wolin co-founded and was the former CEO of Everyday Health Group, a health care industry digital media and marketing group based in New York.

Covetrus was formed in early 2019 from the merger of Portland-based Vets First Choice, which Shaw co-founded with son Benjamin Shaw, the company’s CEO, and the animal health division of Melville, New York-based Henry Schein Inc., which was spun off from its former parent company.

Covetrus stock lost 40 percent of its value in a massive investor sell-off on Aug. 13, following the company’s release of its first quarterly earnings report, which revealed financial performance that was far below analysts’ expectations. The company’s stock price has not recovered since then.

“As a founder and board chair of Vets First Choice, it has been a privilege to play a leadership role in the creation of Covetrus and to serve as chair of the board since inception. I look forward to remaining active as a director,” Shaw said in a prepared statement. “Our decision to appoint an independent chair reflects the board’s commitment to progressive corporate governance principles and a high level of board engagement to support the company’s success.”

Shaw, who also founded animal diagnostics firm Idexx, said Wolin has “deep expertise” in digital health care, pharmacy and technology, which will benefit Covetrus as the board works with management to optimize the company’s performance.

Work is underway for a new five-story Covetrus headquarters in Portland. The company plans to hire more than 1,000 workers once the building is complete. It now employs 5,500 worldwide, with more than 300 jobs in Maine.


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