Wright Medical Group Inc. (NSDQ:WMGI) announced a surprise shakeup of its executive team today, firing its chief technology officer and accepting the resignation of CEO Gary Henley.
The Arlington, Tenn.-based maker of orthopedic devices for the foot and ankle market said in a regulatory filing that Henley resigned prior to a board meeting yesterday.
“Mr. Henley’s resignation is considered to be without ‘good reason’ under the terms of his employment agreement, and he therefore is not entitled to severance,” according to a press release.
Henley, who was at the helm of the company for nearly five years, will be replaced immediately by chairman David Stevens.
Company officials also said that CTO Frank Bono was fired “for cause for failing to exhibit appropriate regard for the company’s ongoing compliance program.”
Rick Wise, an analyst with Leerink Swann, speculated that the shakeup may be related to “WMGI’s deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of N.J., which was announced in September, 2010,” Wise wrote in a note to investors.
“We are inclined to think Gary Henley’s departure and WMGI’s CTO termination are linked. We also suspect both are in some way tied to the company’s ongoing compliance issues,” he added.
Wright Medical agreed in October 2010 to pay nearly $8 million to settle charges that it ran a kickbacks scheme to drive up sales of its hip and knee implants. The feds charged Wright with using consulting gigs with physicians to funnel alleged kickbacks to the docs. The settlement (PDF) also includes a year-long probation of sorts, during which the AG agrees not to prosecute as long as Wright "satisfies its obligations," according to the release. Those obligations include making changes to its consulting arrangements with doctors. An independent monitor will keep tabs on the company during its 12-month probation.
It wasn’t the first concession that New Jersey feds have wrung from orthopedic device makers. Last year, four orthopedic device makers cleared federal criminal charges and a fifth “satisfactorily completed” its non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark.
Shares of Wright Medical dropped nearly 10 percent on The Street after news of the shakeup broke today.
Here’s the latest personnel changes from medical device, diagnostics and life science companies around the nation. For more recent hirings and firings, check out MassDevice’s compilation of the latest personnel moves.
- Danaher promotes three
Danaher Corp. (NYSE:DHR) promotes Henk van Duijnhoven to senior vice president and Amir Aghdaei and Henrik Roos have each been appointed VP and group executive of Danaher.
- CareFusion COO quits
CareFusion (NYSE:CFN) announced COO Dwight Winstead will leave the company on June 30. Winstead has served as COO since CareFusion separated from Cardinal Health on Sept. 1, 2009.
- GE Healthcare taps Jan De Witte as CEO of healthcare IT
General Electric Co.’s (NYSE:GE) GE Healthcare announced that Jan De Witte, currently president and CEO of GE Healthcare’s Performance Solutions division, was named president and CEO of its Healthcare IT business. De Witte, who reports to GE Healthcare president and CEO John Dineen, succeeds Vishal Wanchoo who was recently named senior VP of Growth Initiatives for GE India.
- Revolutions Medical taps SON Medical’s David Rothkopf as regulatory consultant
Revolutions Medical Corp. (OTC:RMCP) hired a new regulatory compliance consultant, F. David Rothkopf of SON Medical LLC. Rothkopf has more than 20 years of professional strategic experience in the development of quality and regulatory controls of medical devices. He is currently the president and Founder of SON Medical, established in 2000 to offer quality, regulatory consulting assistance to the medical device industry.
- Invacare adds chief compliance officer
Invacare Corp. (NYSE:IVC) hired Colleen Craven as chief compliance officer. In this role, Craven will be responsible for overseeing the company’s initiatives to ensure it is in compliance with relevant laws and regulations regarding the design, manufacture and distribution of medical devices.
- Athenahealth adds medical information position
athenahealth Inc. (NSDQ:ATHN) appointed Dr. Todd Rothenhaus to the newly created position of Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO). Dr. Rothenhaus will report directly to athenahealth executive VP and COO, Ed Park.
- Westphal departs GSK for Longwood fund
president of GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK) venture investing arm SR One Christoph Westphal is leaving to focus on Longwood Founders Fund, an independent venture capital fund he co-founded with Michelle Dipp and Richard Aldrich, according to a news release emailed from GSK. Westphal also founded Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Ten-year MITA veteran Vastagh gets new role
The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) recently announced a number of staff changes, including the expansion of of 10-year veteran Stephen Vastagh’s role, to accommodate its growing role as the collective voice and leading organization for the manufacturers, innovators, and product developers of the medical imaging, radiotherapy and radiopharmaceutical industries. Vastagh will now also lead the management of Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM).
- ZYTO makes two executive promotions
ZYTO Corp. (OTC:ZYTC) announced the promotions of Kami J. Howard to president and COO, and Brian E. Halladay to CFO. Dr. Vaughn R Cook will remain as the company’s CEO.
- Cameron Health appoints Ward Dykstra as VP of global marketing
Cameron Health Inc., based in San Clemente, Calif., announced that Ward Dykstra has been appointed its VP of Global Marketing. Dykstra’s responsibilities at Cameron Health include expanding the company’s efforts to commercialize its S-ICD System outside the United States and its preparation for U.S. Market launch scheduled in 2013.
- Cambridge Heart taps new VP
Cambridge Heart Inc. (OTC:CAMH), a developer of non-invasive diagnostic tests for cardiac disease, appointed Paul Slater as its VP, sales and marketing. Slater comes to Cambridge Heart with extensive experience and success in advancing medical device sales.
- Orthofix appoints Vicente Trelles as senior VP
Orthofix International N.V. (NSDQ:OFIX) announced that Vicente Trelles has been appointed as senior VP, World Wide Operations and Shared Services. Mr. Trelles will report directly to Robert S. Vaters, the company’s COO.
- Aware CEO quits
Aware Inc. (NSDQ:AWRE), a supplier of technology and software for the telecommunications and biometrics industries, announced that Edmund Reiter has resigned, effective April 1, as president and CEO and director of the board of the company citing personal reasons.
- Ellman International hires new U.S. sales executive
Ellman International Inc., a New York based manufacturer of radiofrequency (RF) devices for surgical and aesthetic procedures, announced the appointment of Dennis Herman to the position of senior VP, U.S. sales.