The Power List 2021 – Power List
President and Chief Executive Officer
What led you to ophthalmology?
When I graduated 25 years ago and started in financial services, I couldn’t have imagined the path my career would have taken. Surrounded by a family of doctors, I should have known that medicine would somehow play a role in my professional life. More than a decade ago, I had the opportunity to jump into healthcare and join Novartis Group in Switzerland. We acquired Alcon, where I oversaw the global integration into Novartis – and thus became introduced to ophthalmology. I remember spending weeks with the R&D and clinical teams to learn about our products. I also met with several surgeons who were instrumental to my learning, allowing me to spend time in their offices and operating rooms. It was important to understand how a product worked, why it was critical in an ophthalmic procedure, and why it brought value to physicians and hospitals. Similar to when I was a 16-year-old working the reception desk at my father’s clinic during summer vacation, I considered it an intellectual challenge to understand the pre-, during, and post-surgical procedure efforts. We at BVI have learned that listening to the surgeons’ and hospitals’ needs are the most informative lessons. It is fascinating that the eye, such a small organ, can be so intricate and so complex… very much like the industry of ophthalmology.
How does your company promote gender equality at all levels?
At BVI, we don’t rely on initiatives to drive an effort internally. Instead, we implement measures to build a positive climate throughout the company and, over time, integrate that into our DNA. An initiative may bring attention to a matter, but it will not be sustainable long-term. It is imperative that our associates stay blind to gender, as well as race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation when looking at our talent or new hires. We seek out people who think in this way and avoid bias altogether. By doing this, we cultivate an environment that doesn’t stand for anything less than equality. Our organization is 51 percent female, 49 percent male. By focusing on who is the best person for the role, we are able to organically keep this balance within the company. BVI is currently formalizing a broader Mentorship program, built by our associates, to be launched in 2021. As a newer company, BVI is unburdened by a legacy, which means we are free to build the organization the way our associates and customers want us to. And that is quite liberating!
What can we expect from BVI in the next five years?
The pandemic saw many companies retrenching and laying off employees to protect profits, while BVI continued to expand. We are humbled to see the care shown by our employees during this time. As an industry, we have not yet recovered from the disruption in ophthalmic procedures, but with longterm resolve, BVI will continue to deliver for its surgeons and patients, now and in years to come.