Cook Group president Kem Hawkins retires, Pete Yonkman dons mantle


Kem Hawkins, president of Cook Group Incorporated, retired on July 1 after 34 years with the Cook organisation. Hawkins will remain on the board of directors for Cook Group. Pete Yonkman, current president of Cook Medical, has been chosen as Hawkins’ successor as president of Cook Group.

“Under Kem’s leadership, we have seen exciting new opportunities to help patients, our employees, and the communities where we operate,” said Carl Cook, CEO of Cook Group. “With his guidance, our company experienced unparalleled growth in sales from US$500 million to US$2 billion and growth in the number of employees from 4,000 to 12,000 globally. Kem has successfully led the company through challenging times, significant growth, and a shifting global health care landscape.”

Hawkins joined the Cook organization June 1, 1981, as a management trainee and operations manager. In 1983, Hawkins moved to Denmark to act as operations manager for William Cook Europe. Upon his return in 1985, he became general manager of Cook’s Critical Care division and was promoted to vice president of Critical Care in 1990. Hawkins’ years in Critical Care led to new partnerships with physicians and the development of new products that saved countless lives. He then became interim president of Wilson-Cook Medical, executive vice president of Cook Critical Care, and, in 2001, president of Cook Group and Cook Incorporated.