Having successfully shepherded the company he founded through clinical trials, raising $100 million and finally winning regulatory clearance, InfraReDx CEO Dr. James Muller is leaving the corner office for a seat as chairman of the board.
Dr. James Muller, who launched InfraReDx in 1999, is stepping aside as CEO for Donald Southard, the former CEO of Zonare Medical Systems. The company is ramping up to introduce its coronary imaging system, LipiScan, which uses intravascular ultrasound to provide images of plaque in blood vessels. Muller will become chairman of the company and will still play a role in day-to-day operations as chief medical officer.
Muller called the succession "a sign of the maturation of InfraReDx as a commercial entity" in prepared remarks. Southard, a 30-year medical device veteran, has stints as president of Datascope Corp., president and CEO of Serviscope Corp., vice president of sales and marketing at Toshiba Medical Systems Inc. and vice president of sales Philips Medical Systems under his belt. He left Mountain View, Calif.-based Zonare (which makes ultrasound devices) last summer.
The LipiScan system won 510(k) clearance from the Food & Drug Administration in September 2010. InfraReDx pulled in $21 million the next month in an equity offering to fund the ensuing commercialization push.
When MassDevice spoke with Muller last summer, he intimated that a succession might be in the cards one day.
“I’ve heard criticisms of physicians not knowing how to run companies. Some have said that the term MD stands for ‘management disaster,’ so I’m aware of that problem," he told us.
"In my defense, when I was in academic medicine I ran a large division and so I had a lot of administrative duties. But the reason that I stay with it is because I want to see heart attacks prevented and I think this is the best way to do it. I did resign my position at Harvard Medical School because I believe in this company."