Douglas J. Kush

Douglas J. Kush Practice Group Leader, Chicago

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Medical Devices

Medical device manufacturers are facing unprecedented challenges. Healthcare costs around the globe are increasing under the burden of an aging population, and activist governments are looking to extract savings from all parts of the healthcare system. The recent expansion into global markets has created new streams of income, but has also left medical device companies less insulated from economic downturns and the impact they have on self-pay markets. Product quality problems have led to several major recalls, and clinical studies have cast doubt on the safety of some of the industry’s key products. Against this backdrop, the historically close collaboration between manufacturer and physician has been challenged and called into question.

What skills are needed?

In this demanding environment developing outstanding regulatory leaders has never been more important – or more difficult. With demand for capable, committed regulatory leaders now outstripping supply, companies face a new challenge: developing the talent to lead one of their most critical functions. This is no simple task, given the unique skill sets required by regulatory leaders and the tendency of regulatory people to stay put. A robust talent development system is an absolute must.

Ultimately, innovation is the source of all real value in the medical device sector, and true innovation that delivers clinical value will continue to be rewarded. The challenge of creating that innovation is increasing markedly, as devices target more complex conditions with broader and sometimes connected technologies. Managers must now contend with different groups that have historically not operated together and that have different thought patterns and approaches. Team leadership is at a premium.

Marketing has long taken a back seat to sales in the commercial function of medical device companies. This will need to change as the role of true strategic marketing becomes critical. The market is becoming segmented and relatively few companies are well suited to define the segments effectively or serve them adequately. Device companies must think carefully about how to attract or develop people with the right skill set, who can successfully make the jump into highly regulated technical markets.

How can Egon Zehnder support the medical devices industry?

We have placed a large number of executives in medical devices companies. We understand the issues from competition, market, value-chain and geographical perspectives.

Our ability to source and recruit talent from the relevant areas around the globe sets us apart in serving our clients. Our ability to work across industries and markets provides innovative talent solutions for our clients.

How we operate

Egon Zehnder partners with organizations to raise their level of talent. We work across the talent management continuum to provide search, assessment and development services. Our consultants were all experienced business leaders before entering our firm and can therefore understand your business problem in developing a talent solution for you.

Our Executive Assessment and Development Practice offers proven expertise in systematically evaluating and benchmarking companies’ existing management portfolio at both individual and team levels. This strategic approach to creating top-class management teams can only be realized with the backing of a company’s CEO and more particularly its board. Both need experience of leading their companies through turbulent times.

All of our Life Sciences Practice consultants acquired extensive professional experience in the healthcare industry before joining Egon Zehnder. This expertise is embedded in our global network. Our entire firm operates as a single profit center, which both encourages and rewards collaboration.

Douglas J. Kush

Douglas J. Kush Practice Group Leader, Chicago

See all Consultants in this Practice

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