The Lake Forest, California-based implantable eye lens maker named Warren Foust as its new COO. Magda Michna takes over as chief clinical, regulatory and medical affairs officer. Staar’s global head of regulatory affairs, Denise McEachern, plans to retire.
Both positions report to Staar President and CEO Tom Frinzi.
Frinzi recently took over the corner office for Caren Mason, who retired at the end of last year. Analysts quickly asked questions over this move, calling it a “curve ball.”
“The addition of two highly regarded ophthalmic leaders to our team exemplifies the success, momentum and opportunity for Staar as we work with surgeons to expand the market for refractive vision correction with our proprietary EVO ICL lenses to the millions of people seeking visual freedom from contact lenses and glasses,” Frinzi said in a news release. “Today, STAAR is a company delivering industry leading growth and with increasing momentum for even greater growth. Our focus remains capturing the tremendous whitespace opportunity in front of us.”
About the new Staar Surgical executive appointments
Most recently, Foust served as worldwide president at Johnson & Johnson Vision, Surgical, since December 2019. There, he worked alongside Frinzi, who spent time in the same role. Frinzi called Foust “uniquely qualified” as he takes on the responsibility of leading growth objectives at Staar.
Before that, he held the role of worldwide president at Mentor, a breast reconstruction and aesthetics unit at Johnson & Johnson. He also served as VP of U.S. sales and marketing for three years at Mentor.
Other roles include sales leadership positions at DePuy Synthes and a sales representative at Roche.
“I am so grateful to be part of the ophthalmic community,” Foust said. “It is an honor to work at Staar. I believe Staar has the right technology at the right time to establish a new standard of care for refractive vision correction. My focus will be on empowering our Staar teams and equipping our surgeon customers with the tools they need to drive growth and adoption of the EVO family of lenses. I am also very happy to work with Tom again.”
Michna joins Staar having most recently served as chief global, clinical, medical and regulatory affairs officer at AcuFocus. She held that role since April 2018. Bausch & Lomb acquired AcuFocus in January 2023.
Other roles included chief clinical officer at Presbia. Michna led the clinical development for intraocular lenses and surgical devices supporting the Alcon Surgical franchise. She began her time in the industry as a vision scientist at Vistakon, a J&J Vision unit. Frinzi called Michna “an important addition” to oversee and advance the company’s pipeline.
“I have admired STAAR’s technology and its management team for several years and look forward to leading clinical, regulatory and medical affairs,” stated Magda Michna, Ph.D. “The safety and effectiveness of the EVO family of lenses is well established, and I am confident we can facilitate even broader awareness and understanding of the data within the ophthalmic community.”