Carl Zeiss Meditec continues to add top talent. Andrew Chang, who managed US sales at B&L, joins the growing group bringing him together with Unit Head Jim Mazzo.
Prior to joining ZEISS, Chang was General Manager and Senior Vice President for Bausch + Lomb Surgical where he led the sales, marketing, operations and business development for the US.
Tom Salemi: Hey, everyone, welcome back. This is Tom Salemi and you are listening to the OIS Podcast. Thanks for joining us. We’re also welcoming back our guest. Andrew Chang spoke with us about a year and a half ago. He was the General Manger and VP of US Surgical for Bausch and Lomb. Now he had a new job. He is Head of Global Sales for Ophthalmic Devices at Carl Zeiss. Carl Zeiss, of course, has been getting a lot of attention. Jim Mazzo came on board earlier this year to head the ophthalmics unit, and he’s bringing in some new managers, including Andrew Chang. Interesting story: Andrew and Jim have never worked together, but they had worked against each other, and Andrew speaks to how he and Jim came to appreciate one another, and how he ultimately joined Jim at Carl Zeiss. So Carl Zeiss has got a lot going on, a lot of work underway to really expand the ophthalmic franchise, and Andrew’s going to be a huge part of it. So I hope you enjoy this visit with Andrew Chang. We recorded this prior to AAO. It’s been something we’ve been holding onto for just a little bit. But Andrew’s a great interview, a good guy, and we look forward to seeing him at future OIS’s. So enjoy this interview with Andrew Chang of Carl Zeiss.
TS: Well, Andy Chang, welcome to the Podcast.
Andrew Chang: Thank you. Thanks, Tom. Thanks for the opportunity.
TS: You are a returning guest, so you’re now a frequent flyer member of the OIS Podcast. But you have a new title and a new job and a new company, so congratulations.
AC: I really appreciate it. Yeah, it’s been a warm welcome from everybody.
TS: So you are now with Carl Zeiss Meditec and you will lead global sales. So what’s your exact title there?
AC: Yeah. So I am the Head of Global Sales, Ophthalmic Devices. So in charge of everything ophthalmology and optometry for Carl Zeiss Meditec around the world. Very exciting times.
TS: That’s terrific. And you had previously been with Bausch and Lomb, and there you were General Manager and Vice President of US Surgical. Did you just focus on the US in your previous gig? Or did you do worldwide there as well?
AC: Yeah, mostly US on the full P&L perspective at Bausch and Lomb, and a little bit of a touch point on certainly the worldwide efforts in terms of R&D, operations and all of that.
TS: So what is that transition like? Your playing field is a lot larger than it was. Is it just merely expanding your horizons? Or is it a completely different kind of gig, focusing on one company versus worldwide sales?
AC: Yeah, absolutely. So what really intrigued me was the focus on innovation, the focus on patient care. And if you think about what Carl Zeiss can bring to the table to ophthalmologists, optometry and the patients, we’re the only company that can do that. So if you think about identifying, diagnosing to treatment and then maintaining that patient care, whether it’s an IOLMaster, Cirrus OCT, to Callisto, VisuMax, IOL’s, phaco, all the way through, you have that continuum. And then you have that maintenance of the patient whether they’re successful or they need retreatment. So that’s what really intrigued me. And then it’s on a global presence because the focus from Michael Kaschke, Ludwin Mons to Jim Mazzo, is pushing the company forward in not just a transactional type of perspective, but also pushing into a procedural and clinical outcomes space.
TS: So are the pressure points sales wise different in the US and outside the US? And by pressure points I mean the way you connect with the optometrists, connect with the ophthalmologists? Is a sale a sale? Or is it – does it really vary from market to market?
AC: It does vary market to market. But what I think one thing that Jim and I want to bring to the table in a major way is the side by side collaboration in terms of not just product development, but also in the clinical outcomes and the execution in the clinic for ophthalmologists and optometrists. And that’s the one thing we wanted to bring to table in a major way. I think that’s probably been different in the past.
TS: Interesting. And how did you come to connect with this shop? Because you weren’t part of the Allergan group that Jim Mazzo was sort of part of. Did you folks ever work together? Did I miss some overlap on your resumes?
AC: No, no. This is a funny story. So Jim and I were probably – and Jim tells this story pretty well, probably much better than I can. Yeah, yeah. We were always on opposite ends, in fact. We were in the space, we obviously admired each other’s work quite a bit. I was at Bausch and I was always telling Jim that we need better representation, and I’m sending him scathing emails, and he’s sending back some fun emails back and forth. And that’s really how our relationship started. And I think through that, he understands both – we understood each other’s passion for ophthalmology, we understand what it means to partner up with patients, patients’ care, and also our surgeons and bringing that support to their clinic, and how important that is for a company, but a sustaining company, not just to be a lasting presence and a lasting name, but to really be number one in the market.
TS: That’s great. Did you require any thinking about this job? It sounds like a great opportunity, one that would be difficult to pass up.
AC: Yeah, it was really difficult to pass up. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be in charge of a world class global organization with the type of depth and history that we have here at Zeiss, and then be able to work with Jim, for sure.
TS: So what’s the past month been like? Because you literally just started there a month ago, right? How do you enter a situation like this? What do you do to sort of get a lay of the land, or at least begin to get a lay of the land at a big company like Zeiss?
AC: Yeah. What I understood very early on, and seen really early on through my tour through the company, through all the different sites, there’s a great number of people that work here and are certainly – their passion for innovation and developing technologies in the culture is very, very strong. So not only I think everybody has a physicist and title somewhere along the line except for Jim and I, I think. But – yeah, exactly. But I think that’s where we can offer a lot of value is the customer approach. I think all of us have carried a bag in the field focus and really focus on what we can bring to their practice, and the customers and the patients.
TS: Were you working in optometry before?
AC: I had a slight touch. Knew a lot of the key stakeholders within optometry and certainly I do a better job now moving forward with people like Paul Carpecchi, Dr. Carpecchi, Dr. Cunningham, and a number of other folks that we’ve worked with in the past in some of the other markets, like when I was at ISTA
TS: And what are you doing now to sort of – again, you’ve only been there a month, so I’m sure you haven’t made any changes or wholesale changes, if you even intend to. But what kind of infrastructure are you setting up to allow yourself to sort of go forward and to lead this in the direction you want it to go, and you and Jim want it to go?
AC: Yeah. So one of the things we are executing even now, just finishing off at AAO, we want to bring the entire presence of the product portfolio. Like I just mentioned earlier, you went from diagnosis, surgical treatment, and then the maintenance of that. So how do we bring that approach to the customers? But it’s also within how we live by each and every day from the sales perspective, or a clinical outcomes perspective. That has to carry through in our team and in our approach, not just from a philosophy, but how we practice that when we see our customers, you know, our ophthalmologists or optometrists when they come up to us and say, Well, show me your latest technology in OCT, show me your latest technology in IOLMaster 700. That’s great, but it doesn’t end there. So how can we bridge that bap and bring that forward through the entire spectrum of care, all the different product portfolios that we have?
TS: And how much of – you mentioned AAO. How did AAO go for you, by the way? I know this new gig. Where were you? What was different about being at AAO with Zeiss as opposed to with your previous companies like Bausch?
AC: Oh, I love the team, what Dain Maloney and the folks, and real true veterans like James Carter bring to the table. The format of AAO is tremendously different than a pharma company or a device company and other groups because we are interacting with customers; they come with a specific need, and we share in what we have. But then they buy off the floor. And that is an exciting perspective that I have never had, but certainly a lot of fun. A lot of people are on their feet all the time, moving around. One of my main philosophies is I want to be on the floor to be there next to the customers, but also be there for our team, so they know that we have – we’re there for them every step of the way.
TS: And going forward, how do you approach – again, earlier you had mentioned, you touched upon optometry. You’re doing it more now with Zeiss. How do you touch that market? What are the big meetings that you’re going to there? And do you anticipate that being as equal a part of ophthalmology of your job going forward? Or is ophthalmology still primary? Do you see one as primary and one as secondary? How do you do this?
AC: No, no. I believe within the optometry space, we want to focus on the customer and all of their needs, right? So as optometry plays a major role in referring, we want that continuum to be more intelligent in the sense of transferring information. So we diagnose, as you know, and we detect. So in the early part of the process, let’s say we’re talking about our Angioplex OCT. So if an optometrist has the OCT device, we utilize the forum, then communicate to the ophthalmologist or the retina specialist to say, Hey, this is what we’ve seen; take a look at this space. And then when you move into that space through our platforms, you can communicate in a way that you haven’t done before, other than just on a piece of paper where you’re scanning images or sending images. If you’re on the same platform, and soon to be cloud based, you’ll be able to then communicate in a meaningful way, and say, take a look at this scan over here; I’ve marked it for you. Why don’t you take a look with your clinic? And then maybe they refer to a retina specialist which does the same thing. They could take the same scan and move it along any part of the retina without bringing the patient ever back in. I mean that’s a totally different dynamic than what we’re seeing today, and say, Well, come in, Patient X, Y and Z, or Patient supposed to get another scan. And now you move into the future. You move that into the OR. You have the rescan technologies within our microscope. Then you know exactly what you did, and then you bring it right back out into the clinic and do another scan, all through the same platform. And so they’re all communicating together. I think that’s where devices are going. We have to be more efficient in that way, and that’s our goal is to drive efficiency for our practices, for our – from ophthalmologists as well as optometrists.
TS: Interesting. And on the sales side, do you see making any changes of the group, to adding people, moving people around, redistributing? What’s going on?
AC: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, yeah. So that’s one of the things we are doing as we venture into more of a clinical base and application base and outcome base. Because we are driving patient care and clinical outcomes. That’s so important for all of us, including our surgeons. The goal is to bring practice development specialists or BDM’s, I think, business development managers, into the fold. Where I’m seeing very early on in certain countries and regions we’re doing excellent is when we have an account based team that go in and understand what’s going on in their practice. So how do we make their clinical performance and practice efficiency better? So once we understand their needs and OK, we can pull in all the different tools, the different teams. And so that’s the one area that we’ve seen very successful in terms of certain regions within Zeiss. And we want to bring that everywhere.
TS: And so you’re adding people? Do you have any plans –
AC: Yeah, yeah, exactly.
TS: Any numbers yet? Or is that still being determined?
AC: We have numbers that I can share sometime.
TS: I’m not telling you, but we have numbers. OK.
AC: Yeah, yeah.
TS: I know how it is. That’s fine.
AC: No, no, no, it’s good.
TS: And how different – without getting into where you’ve been and the companies you’ve worked at, but how different is it working at a company where research and development and innovation is a big part of the culture when you’re selling? Does it give you a sort of, I don’t know, a stronger foundation to stand on when you’re selling new technologies, knowing that –
AC: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I think all of us have to stand behind what we do and speak to our customers. It’s not just about selling one box and then you leave. The approach has to be how can we make their practice better. And it’s a continuum because we will have updates. Software will be a huge part of it. And having a 170-year-old company where their DNA is driven off of innovation and technology is a huge, huge plus. When someone says Zeiss and Zeiss Optics, you immediately elevate into a different level. And I think that, for me, feels great. And the fact that you don’t always have to fight for the next resource to continue that innovation has been fantastic on my side. And I know what’s in the pipeline, or some of it that they’re willing to share with me. And that’ll continue. And so for us in the sales team and the entire organization should be fully behind it, and we are. And that’s what we want to share and communicate. But it’s not just about what’s coming from the engineers. And one of the things that Jim and I want to bring and have brought is with the introduction of our new team members like Steve Schallhorn and Erin Schallhorn, it’s about the collaboration of clinical work and bringing them into the fold from looking under the hood and saying OK, well, can you change this or make this a little bit more efficient, or how does that workflow dynamic impact the practice. Maybe if you tweak here, you can make it that much better.
TS: Is that collaboration becoming more difficult in today’s healthcare market, where physicians are being – physicians who work with industry are perhaps under more pressure than they’ve been in the past?
AC: I think there’s some exposure there, especially you have some outliers that don’t – but if you take that apart, I think that collaboration has to be there because again, from my perspective, I don’t know what surgeons need or optometrists need day in and day out. They have to be part of the solution in helping us, guide us for the future. And how many times have we done this in the consumer products world, where you look at a new device you just got, and you’re excited, and you go, why on earth did they do that? And I know our ophthalmologists and optometrists are saying that about our devices, too, in some degree. And some of them, they say, Well, that was brilliant; I’m glad you guys did that. And moving on technologies and technologies we’ve invested in like Smile, right, for VisuMax, that is absolutely a game changing technology. It’s not there to replace Lasik; it’s there to enhance the market. I’m actually one of those patients that was not a candidate, whether physically or psychologically for PRK or other procedures, and this now I become one of those patients and are possible within that new market.
TS: So you’re not just a salesman on this; you’re a client as well?
AC: That’s right, that’s right.
TS: Did you have it done prior to joining Zeiss?
AC: No, no, I’m looking forward to it.
TS: Great. Well, we’ll have you on the Podcast to talk about that successful outcome, no doubt.
AC: Yeah, no doubt.
TS: I appreciate you taking a few minutes. I know you’ve got a lot going on. And congratulations on the new job, and we’ll certainly keep in touch.
AC: Yep, perfect. Thanks for your time and I appreciate it, and we’ll talk soon.
TS: Great. Thanks, Andrew.
TS: All right, well, that is a wrap. Andrew Chang, congratulations on the new job with Carl Zeiss. I’m glad you and Jim Mazzo have finally joined the same side, and look forward to seeing what all of you can do at Carl Zeiss. Many exciting stories ahead, and look forward to following that on the Podcast. Thanks all of our OIS Podcast listeners for joining us. This is really an amazing ride for us at OIS, and very happy to have you be part of it. We’re going to be releasing some content from OIS@AAO in coming weeks. We’ve got the reports from the stage, we’ve got reports that I did off-stage, and write-ups from our editorial team. If you’re not receiving the Eye in Innovation Newsletter, you should be. You’ll get a lot of the content that way. So go to OIS.net, just give us your email, and you’ll be signed up for the Eye on Innovation Newsletter. You want to make sure that you are receiving the content as it comes out. Feel free to shoot me an email. My email is email@example.com. That’s the word health followed by the letters EGY.com. And I’ll make sure you get on our mailing list if you aren’t already on there. And Healthegy, of course, is the company that produces OIS. So in case you were wondering about that connection. And again, that’s a wrap. And one more thing: if you want to help us out at the Podcast, just go in iTunes or whatever platform you’re using to listen to the Podcast, give us a rating, offer a comment. And please do tell your friends. We are very excited about the growth of this Podcast and we want to reach out and reach as many people as possible. Thanks again for listening to the OIS Podcast. Tune in next week for another tale of innovation.
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