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James V. (Jim) Mazzo

The Power List 2018

James V. (Jim) Mazzo

Global President Ophthalmic Devices, Carl Zeiss Meditec; Chairman, Neurotech; Member of The Board, Iantech

What have been your career highlights?

“As I look back at my 37 years in the ophthalmic industry, what stands out most for me is that I have had the opportunity and privilege to work alongside many great physicians and great leaders, such as Gavin Herbert, David Pyott and Michael Kaschke; and to build and to lead world-class organizations and teams – both large and small – which have been pivotal in driving advancements that have shaped ophthalmic care – phaco, diagnostics, retinal implants, the first bio-focal contact lens, the refractive change with LASIK at AMO. Creating AMO (Advanced Medical Optics Inc.) from a spin-off, and creating, with my mentor, Gavin Herbert, the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute at the University of California, Irvine, are two highlights that stand out in my mind. I have also been honored to serve on the governing boards of ophthalmic societies – being the only non-doctor, non-MD on the ASCRS Governing Board, and being the first non-ophthalmologist on the IIIC. I’ve had the opportunity to live and work overseas – to learn, understand and interact with different cultures.”

What are your goals for the future?

“I want to continue to help doctors and to help patients by leading organizations and being part of the process to advance eye care. I always believed that the best part of being in the ophthalmic industry is partnering with doctors, associations and institutes to develop innovative technologies that help preserve and restore sight. Great technology is developed by the collaboration of industry with doctors.

With the regulatory, reimbursement and legislation challenges doctors face today, technology continues to lead the way in its impact as it deals with the most important sense: vision. There are still diseases that do not have a cure. There are still millions of people who are blind or in danger of losing their vision. 

Digital technology has changed our world and has a huge impact in healthcare. I believe that by helping doctors embrace the digital environment will in turn help enhance patient care with reduced operational costs, without ever sacrificing quality of care.”

What has been your most successful collaboration?

“Alongside my mentor, Gavin Herbert, I helped build from a vision, from an idea, from the ground up, the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute at the University of California, Irvine. This is a reflection of our shared vision to create an institute where it all comes together – a research institute focused on new technologies, on training new physicians, on supporting the community – an institute that will continue in time, in legacy. The institute is the result of intense collaboration with many people, with many great physicians across an academic “mega-system”. To be able to do this with Gavin Herbert, whom I regard as one of the greatest pioneers in ophthalmology, and knowing this legacy will continue to serve eye care and patients is one of my proudest moments.”

What are your plans for the next 10 years?

“First – I am busy working to ensure that ZEISS becomes #1 in the world in ophthalmology and optometry, and to work with the great team at Neurotech to advance our retina platform.

After that, I plan to continue to lead global companies, both large and small, and to work with this great community of ophthalmic organizations and doctors to develop and bring to market technologies that advance eye care and help patients. 

Lastly, I want to continue supporting programs around the world that give back – which help doctors around the world preserve and restore vision for patients who may not have easy and affordable access to quality care.

On a personal note, I would like to continue to spend more time with my family. Plus, to continue to learn – such as learning an entirely new business, as I am doing now as part owner of a winery.” 

What drives you day-to-day?

“I am driven by my love of ophthalmology and optometry. I love this business. I love the people.

But mostly, knowing there’s still much work to do, knowing people continue to lose their vision every day, knowing there are eye diseases with no known cures – this is what fuels me to continue my work every day.”

Who have been your mentors?

“Gavin Herbert, David Pyott, Roger Steinert. And my Dad.”

Be Humble, Stay Humble

In Conversation with Jim Mazzo

Part of the Power List 2018

100 reasons to be proud

This is the third time we have tried to map the Top 100 most influential people in the world of ophthalmology. The list includes surgeons, scientists, engineers, CEOs and more, and each one of them has been voted for by you, our readers.

Go to The Power List 2018

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