Royal Philips, a Dutch company with its North American corporate headquarters in Andover, announced the appointment of Brent Shafer, 56, as chief executive of its North American division, which employs 21,500 workers in the US and Canada.

Brent Shafer. Photo courtesy of the company.

Shafer will succeed Greg Sebasky, who just retired from Philips. (Last month, Ascend Learning announced that Sebasky would become its new CEO. Based in Burlington, Ascend Learning describes itself as a provider of technology-based learning solutions that deliver results in health care and other professional fields.)

Philips makes such products as health care equipment, toothbrushes, coffee machines, and LED lighting. Previously, Shafer led Philips’ Home Healthcare Solutions business group. In his new post, he will report directly to Royal Philips’ chief executive Frans van Houten.

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“Given the size and the dynamics of the North American market, and the opportunities that we see, we are taking decisive actions to boost new business development and grow faster than the market,” van Houten said in a statement. “In Brent, we have the right leader to do just that as he brings a strong track record, both within Philips and outside of the company, of building successful businesses based on entrepreneurship and meaningful innovations.”

The company has more than over 2,200 employees in Andover as well as just over 350 employees in Fall River, about 800 in Framingham, and around 200 in Burlington.