Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Big Changes in the Corporate Aesthetic World

There have been big changes in the aesthetic corporate world recently. With heavy hitters from Mentor, Medicis, and Allergan all resigning within the past week, we are left to wonder what is next for aesthetic medicine.

Josh Levine, former Mentor CEO, resigned last week. Levine joined Mentor in 1996 as Vice President of Domestic Aesthetic Sales. In January 2000, Levine resigned from the company briefly to join a start-up practice management organization, the Plastic Surgery Co., where he was the Chief Development Officer. His time with the Plastic Surgery Co was short-lived, as he resigned the position in September 2000 to rejoin Mentor as Vice President of sales and marketing. Levine served in roles of increasing responsibility and was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer of Mentor in 2003. Mr. Levine was instrumental in the sale of Mentor last year to Johnson & Johnson.

Following the January 2009 acquisition of Mentor by Johnson & Johnson, Levine had commented that the deal "allows Mentor to expand our product portfolio and significantly grow our global reach." It appears that Levine may now be dissatisfied with the new directions of Mentor, considering his resignation comes at the end of the mandatory wait period following the acquisition. Although there are no reports as to new employment, we are sure he will be inundated with offers as Mr. Levine is one of the most experienced and capable in the aesthetic industry.

Robert Grant, the former Allergan Vice President, resigned last week to take over the presidency of Bausch and Lomb Surgical Division, an Aliso Viejo-based eye surgery business. Grant has spent almost a lifetime in the aesthetics business and is quite possibly moving to maybe a safer, but surely not as exciting, endeavor. Under Grant’s leadership since 2006, Allergan Medical amassed an all-star product lineup that includes Botox Cosmetic ®, JuvĂ©derm ®, the Lap-Band ® surgical weight loss device and Latisse ®.

Perhaps Grant made his decision to join the B & L team based on his experience as an independent board director at Acufocus, Inc., a Carlyle Group and Versant Ventures-backed clinical stage ophthalmic device company. This appears to be a lateral move for Grant, however, he has not been assigned a seat on the Board of Directors of B & L. Is his move indicative of something internally up at our leading aesthetics company Allergan, or Grant's vision of an increasingly regulated, and maybe less attractive, industry to come? Stay tuned here!

Finally, Joe Cooper, the former VP of Corporate and Product Development at Medicis, has also resigned. Similar to Levine, Cooper had been with Medicis since 1996. Cooper has served as Executive Vice President, Corporate and Product Development since July 2006. Prior to joining the Medicis executive team, he held management positions with Schein Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and G.D. Searle

According to BusinessWeek, Cooper "has decided to pursue career opportunities outside of Medicis." This is not the first time Cooper left Medicis for greener pastures. Earlier in the decade he went off to run a start up. Cooper returned to lead the way in his business development role with important strategic investments in Revance ®, Dysport ® and Liposonix ® for Medicis.

There are certainly big shoes to fill in the aesthetic industry and hopefully Allergan, Mentor, and Medicis won’t fall behind with the alterations to their corporate lineups.

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