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Sudden departure prompts leadership change at Ellex

Experienced global healthcare executive Mr Ged Wallace has resigned as CEO of Ellex Medical Lasers, after serving just three and a half months in the role.

Wallace recently informed the board of his decision to step away from the more than $320,000-per-year position, with the company allowing the resignation to take immediate effect on 19 July.

The Adelaide-based ophthalmic device manufacturer has promoted Ms Maria Maieli to the position of interim CEO. She has more than 25 years of senior financial management experience in public and private companies, and has been an Ellex employee since 2011. Previously she served as chief financial officer and company secretary. Ellex did not provide a reason for Wallace’s resignation, and a company spokesperson told Insight they would not comment any further “given the sensitivity around any CEO departure”. However, it was confirmed that his departure was not related to financial underperformance.

On the day of Wallace’s sudden exit from the company, Ellex’s Australian Stock Exchange share price fell 6.5% to $0.57, however it later recovered to be trading at $0.62.

Wallace was appointed CEO on 8 April. It was anticipated he would bring significant experience within the medical device sector, with a particular focus on the Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle Eastern regions. He replaced Mr Tom Spurling, who had been at the helm for eight years.

At the time of his appointment, Ellex chair Mr Victor Previn said Wallace’s commercial expertise would add significant value as Ellex launched new products and entered new markets.

The board has announced it will immediately commence an executive search process to identify and appoint a permanent CEO “as soon as practicable”. Maieli has extensive experience in working with the managers of international sales subsidiaries, strategy delivery, corporate compliance, governance and risk managent.

She holds a Masters Degree in Professional Accounting from the Southern Cross University, is a certified practising accountant, and is also non-executive director of the Australian Diabetes Educators Association.

“Maria has an excellent understanding of the complexities of our business at a regional and global level and has significant experience in managing our various operations and sales functions,” Previn said.

“Maria will be supported by other senior executives of Ellex in fulfilling this role.”

Ms Kimberley Menzies, who has been at Ellex since 2015 and held the position of group financial controller, has replaced Maieli as company secretary.