Johnson & Johnson Vision announced that Warren Foust will assume the role of Worldwide President, Surgical for Johnson & Johnson Vision, effective December 2. Mr. Foust replaces Tom Frinzi, who will retire at the end of 2019 after a 35-year career in ophthalmology.
Mr. Frinzi was appointed to his position at Johnson & Johnson Vision in 2017 after the company’s acquisition of Abbott Medical Optics (AMO), where he served as president. Prior to joining Abbott, Mr. Frinzi held a number of leadership positions in ophthalmology and medical device companies, including president and CEO of ophthalmic surgical device maker WaveTec Vision. He also held leadership positions at Bausch + Lomb Surgical and Refractec. In recognition of his accomplishments, Mr. Frinzi was awarded the 2015 Ophthalmology Innovation Award by the Ophthalmology Innovation Summit (OIS).
In an interview with Eyewire News, Mr. Frinzi talked about why he decided that now was the right time to step down.
“When we did the deal with AMO and Johnson & Johnson, the commitment I made was to stay for 3 years to really help facilitate the integration and transition because we thought it would take that long. And I think we’ve done everything we said we were going to do. Quite frankly, the business is in good shape and it just seemed like the right time to pass the baton,” Mr. Frinzi said. “It’s been a wonderful 3 years with J&J and 1 with Abbott as I came back into the corporate world. And I think we’ve done a lot in those four years and it just seemed like an appropriate time for a guy who has spent majority of his career in vision to transition on the eve of the year 2020. So I’m looking forward to the next phase and chapter of my life, but it just seemed like the timing was right.”
Mr. Foust comes to the role with two decades of global healthcare industry experience, and specific expertise in surgical medical devices. Most recently, he served as Worldwide President of Mentor and was a member of the Cardiovascular and Specialty Services (CSS) Leadership Team within Johnson & Johnson.
Mr. Foust was asked by Eyewire News what his goals are as the new leader of Johnson & Johnson Vision.
“One of the things that’s really important to us is the connectivity that we have with our customers and that we have with our organization. And Tom, along a lot of other great folks, have built an amazing organization here. So I can attest that the company is sad to see Tom go, but I can tell you they’re also very thankful for what he’s done to put us in the position that we’re in, both from a market standpoint but also from a personnel engagement standpoint. So for me, the biggest goal is really just continuing on with that legacy,” Mr. Foust said.
“I have no ambition of making huge changes from that perspective. I want to carry on what Tom has built and make sure that we’re executing against the great plans that have been made. And then I’m also going to be looking into the near term and the midterm from a portfolio and a future standpoint to make sure that we continue to stay the course that’s been set for us. So that for me is going to mean a deep engagement with our surgeons, with our advisors, with folks that can help inform us on where ophthalmology is going in the midterm and in the future, and making sure that we put resources behind that because Johnson & Johnson is all in on surgical vision and I’m happy to be part of that,” Mr. Foust said.
In 2011, Mr. Foust joined Johnson & Johnson through the acquisition of Synthes in 2011 where he spent more than a decade in leadership roles across the orthopedics space, including Trauma, Joint Reconstruction, Craniofacial and Capital Power Equipment. Prior to that, he was part of sales organizations in the pharmaceutical space with Roche and Aventis. Mr. Foust has a master’s degree in marketing and a bachelor’s degree in public relations with a minor in business from the University of Alabama.