Intuitive Surgical Acquires New Product, Breeds New Talent

While the medical device industry continues to see new entrants, the incumbents are getting bigger not only because of intentional growth initiatives but because of fundamental solid business execution. Strong executive teams look holistically at the complete organization determining what needs improvement. For Intuitive Surgical, the pioneer and global leader in robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery, they’ve continued to outperform because of great products, management and operations.

This past July, the company acquired Schölly Fiberoptic’s robotic endoscope business. Intuitive’s senior vice president commented, “Schölly has been an important and valued vendor for Intuitive since the very early days of the company,” further adding, ““Leading visualization has been a core pillar of our company and we expect it to continue to be important going forward…It makes sense to bring the teams together for both organizations.”

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As part of the acquisition, Intuitive will integrate Schölly’s robotic endoscope manufacturing line and two Schölly sites in Germany. It will bring on board a team of approximately 200 staff.

The CEO of Schölly, Dr. Holger Reinecke had this to say, “Application-specific and advanced image quality is our passion and the key for successful and safe minimally invasive surgery…We have a long, successful relationship with Intuitive, and we share the common mission to advance health care by providing state-of-the-art technologies and innovative product features. This transaction will allow Schölly to focus more strategically on our global visualization business and ensure sustainable growth.”

Prior to the acquisition being announced, in a separate corporate event, Intuitive announced the transition of its long time COO Sal Brogna. “Sal’s contributions to Intuitive have been invaluable,” commented Intuitive President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Guthart. “During his long tenure with the company, he has played key roles in developing and supplying our portfolio of surgical systems, and in developing the next generation of company leadership. I extend my personal thanks and the thanks of the company for his many contributions, and look forward to continuing our work together in an advisory capacity.”

Over recent years Brogna and the company had been working hard to assemble a top notch team to help steer Intuitive into a promising future, “Over the past several years, we have formed a strong product operations leadership team, including Brian Miller, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Systems and Vision; Bob DeSantis, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Instruments and Accessories; Colin Morales, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Secondary Market Equipment and Services; and Chris Carlson, Vice President and General Manager for the Endoluminal Division – they are ready to carry operations at Intuitive forward,” Brogna said.

Intuitive is well known in the world of surgery for its da Vinci Surgical System, a system which is controlled by a surgeon from a console. It is used most commonly for prostatectomies and cardiac valve repair as well as gynecologic surgical procedures. It is based in Sunnyvale, California and generates nearly $4 billion in revenue annually. Intuitive has a current market capitalization of $57 billion.