Rex Bionics has announced the appointment of Crispin Simon as chief executive officer.
Simon, who has a 25-year track record in industry with significant success in a number of sub-sectors of healthcare including medical technology and medical devices, will formally join the Board of Rex Bionics as chief executive officer in early October 2014. On the date of Simon’s appointment, Jeremy Curnock Cook, currently chief executive officer, will assume the role of deputy chairman.
Following a career which included working at NM Rothschild, McKinsey, Rexam and Smith & Nephew, where he was latterly president of the Endoscopy Division, Crispin Simon was chief executive of Biocompatibles International until its sale to BTG in early 2011. At Biocompatibles, he led a team that developed three medical products businesses: the Cardiovascular Stent business, sold to Abbott Laboratories for £145 million; the Contact Lens business, sold to Cooper Industries for £80 million and the drug-eluting bead business, which was sold as part of the disposal of the whole company to BTG for £165 million. In addition, £123 million in cash was returned to shareholders.
Since 2012, Simon has been a director in the UK Government’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. Simon is a non-executive director of the NHS Trust Development Authority and a trustee of Alive and Kicking, an African social enterprise.
Simon joins Rex Bionics at a period of intense activity, which has seen the company transfer to the AIM market, raising approximately £10 million in gross funds to expedite the international build out of sales and manufacturing for the REX technology. Since its transfer to AIM, Rex Bionics has already hired key executives to scale up its manufacturing and sales capabilities, opened a new sales office in the UK and has begun targeting the rehabilitation market in the UK, Europe and Australia and New Zealand.
Jeremy Curnock Cook identified the REX technology as an acquisition for Union Medtech Plc, an investment vehicle founded in 2012 in order to pursue opportunities in medical technology, then led the project which brought Rex Bionics Plc to AIM via an IPO in May this year and has been instrumental in driving the strategy for Rex Bionics as a public company. Jeremy also currently serves as Chairman of US listed AmpliPhi Biosciences Corporation and is managing director of Bioscience Managers, a Melbourne-based life sciences investment firm.
Crispin Simon’s appointment follows a number of key hires by Rex Bionics as it expands its senior management team. Rex Bionics has recently recruited two further senior executives, Tracey White and Michael Heath, as general manager of Rex Bionics and director of manufacturing respectively. Tracey and Michael both joined the company in July 2014 and will be based in Auckland. Tracey has a background in sales & marketing and finance and general management. She was most recently general manager of Siemens Healthcare in New Zealand. Michael is a manufacturing executive with extensive experience of working in high technology engineering industries, including robotics. His most recent role was at Bombardier in Belfast manufacturing aircraft fuselages.
Dominic Crispin Adam Simon, aged 56, has also in the last five years been a director of TDeltaS Limited and OBS Medical Limited. Other than set out in this announcement there is no additional information under Schedule 2, paragraph (g) of the AIM Rules for Companies which needs to be disclosed.
David Macfarlane, chairman of Rex Bionics, comments: “I am very pleased to welcome Crispin Simon to the Rex Bionics team where his expertise will be invaluable in helping to take the company to the next phase of its growth. I would also like to thank Jeremy Curnock Cook for his leadership over the past year, during which time he has overseen the transition of Rex Bionics to the AIM market and put in place the commercial and operational foundations for the company. Rex Bionics now has the capacity to make a significant impact internationally and revolutionise the lives of people who use wheelchairs.”
Jeremy Curnock Cook, chief executive officer of Rex Bionics, comments: “Crispin has an outstanding track record within the healthcare sector and has managed businesses at all stages of their development. He is one of the few people I know who has insight into the dynamics of medical technology businesses coupled with the strategic understanding of the opportunities to market products and services across the world.
“Having worked with Crispin when I was chairman of Biocompatibles, I am delighted that Rex Bionics has been able to attract an executive of Crispin’s calibre. We look forward to welcoming him to our expanding team as we continue to scale up our manufacturing and commercial activities.”
Crispin Simon comments: “I am excited to be joining the company at a time when REX is embarking upon the commercialisation of its product. I look forward to working alongside the rest of the team as the company fosters a broader understanding of the benefits of this unique medical technology which can significantly improve the quality of life and freedom of wheelchair users.”