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Gerard Wallace, newly appointed Ellex CEO
News, Management

Ellex Medical Lasers appoints new CEO

10/04/2019By Myles Hume
ASX-listed Ellex Medical Lasers has appointed experienced global healthcare executive Mr Gerard ‘Ged’ Wallace to the position of CEO, seeing Mr Tom Spurling step aside after eight years leading the company.

In a decision company directors believe will strengthen its commercial aspects, Wallace was appointed with immediate effect following a public announcement on Monday. Spurling’s resignation became effective last Friday, however he will stay on as a consultant as part of a market development team for the company’s 2RT laser therapy.

Wallace is said to join the Adelaide-based ophthalmic equipment manufacturer with significant senior executive experience within the medical device sector across the Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East regions.

His appointment comes as Ellex pursues increased market shares for its therapy portfolio, and plans to launch new products. The company generated $80 million in revenue in FY18, and in December listed on the US OTCQX Best Market as part of a strategy to increase investment and market share in the US, where it now generates approximately 45% of its sales.

“Europe, Middle East and Asia, in particular China and Japan, are very important markets for Ellex as much as the United States is, and that's where Ged's experience lies, so Tom is pleased to see Ged on board as they expect to work closely as part of the 2RT development team.”
Dr Tom Duthy, Ellex

The company’s high priority areas also include increasing the global distribution of its iTrack glaucoma device in new and existing markets, and obtaining US regulatory approval for use of 2RT in age-related macular degeneration patients.

Ellex head of investor relations and corporate development Dr Tom Duthy told Insight that Spurling acknowledged it was time to “pass the baton” to someone with a greater depth of direct commercial experience in medical devices to lead the company to the next level.

“Europe, Middle East and Asia, in particular China and Japan, are very important markets for Ellex as much as the United States is, and that's where Ged's experience lies, so Tom is pleased to see Ged on board as they expect to work closely as part of the 2RT development team,” Duthy said.

"Ged has experience in product development, product launches, dealing with regulatory bodies and reimbursement. These are the bits and pieces you need to take the product from the point of bench-top research and development, to commercially selling it to doctors.

“We are doing that – we are a commercial business – but it's about getting that to the next level, and the board clearly thinks his expertise will be very useful in achieving that,” he added.

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Wallace’s lengthy resume features his role as former president of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX), which generated US$1.7 billion (AU$3.3 b) in revenue and comprised 1,650 staff.

He is also a past president of Asia/China at Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) responsible for approximately 2,000 staff and US$270 million (AU$378 m) in annual revenue. He served as president of commercialisation for CathRX, and is currently a non-executive director at Cipher Surgical.

Wallace was not available for comment, however his Linkedin profile states he is a “global healthcare executive with a record of commercial innovation, business development and operational growth”.

In a company press release, Ellex chairman Mr Victor Previn said: “We are delighted Ged has joined Ellex as CEO given his 20-plus years of medical device experience. Ged is a specialist in developing and managing multi-national organisations with comprehensive experience in strategy development, direct operations, joint venture partnerships and acquisitions.

“As our operations continue to expand, Ged’s direct commercial expertise in building a strong global organisation is expected to add significant value to Ellex in coming years as we launch new products and enter new markets.”

Previn also thanked Spurling for his eight years of service: “Tom’s achievements are numerous, and include the acquisition of iScience Interventional, Inc. in late 2014 which has transformed our business, given the growth achieved with Ellex iTrack as the cornerstone product of that transaction. I look forward to working with Tom on an ongoing basis.”

Wallace’s employment agreement includes a base salary of $320,000 per annum, excluding statutory superannuation contributions. He will be eligible for a discretionary performance based short-term incentive of up to 40% of base salary each year, and the agreement includes a post-employment restriction, with a business similar or competitive to Ellex, for a period of 12 months in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia.


More reading:

Ellex announces strong half-year financial results
Ellex makes inroads into US market


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