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Chairman's Message

I have often said that people constitute 75% or more of any business, regardless of the type of business. We can have great visions and big plans, but nothing can come to fruition without people making it happen, people who are motivated, enthused, and committed to delivering the goods.

It is not just a matter of hiring good people, although that is a vital first step; it is also a matter of providing those people, whom we believe have the right background and the appropriate skills to succeed, with the tools they need. The most important tool is knowledge, knowledge of both the business environment in which we work and the products that we make, market, and sell.

ResMed is very much in the people business; our main mission is to address the carnage created by untreated sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), of which obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most obvious manifestation. It is now over 10 years since an editorial in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (April, 1993) suggested that it was time for the nation to wake up to the staggering impact of sleep disturbances on the health and welfare of our society, an impact that rivals that of smoking. The title of the editorial was "Sleep Apnea - A Major Public Health Problem." So my use of the word carnage, while seemingly hyperbolic, is actually appropriate. In short, we are in the business of helping people and saving lives or, at least, preventing premature deaths. We need to hire good people to help us with this important mission but also provide them with the very best tools to accomplish it.

There are a number of things about ResMed that, although perhaps not unique, need to be emphasized. First, we are spread out across the globe and have a presence in over 60 countries; this global spread is increasing. This means that we need to communicate extremely well with each other. I cannot stress enough how important it is to communicate often in an open and direct manner. Second, we have a well-earned reputation for quality; we value this reputation, and the only guarantee that we get to keep is to have a commitment to continuous improvement. Third, ResMed is a company that has a reputation for innovation; we spend liberally on R&D and need to make sure that we keep getting value for the shareholders' money we spend. Fourth, we endeavor to employ self-starters, people who feel responsible and accountable for their actions and decisions. Fifth, and final, we try not only to recruit the best person for the job but also to provide a motivational environment to produce the desired results. The final arbiter of our performance is that we end up doing what we said we were going to do.

We believe we have built a great company thus far. And the company can only continue to be great if we hire, appropriately encourage, and reward the very best people. In the final analysis, the companies who get the best results are the ones who have the best strategy and who hire the best people. It is almost that simple.

Dr Peter Farrell



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