15 Dec Third Wave CEO steps aside as company departs research market
Madison, Wis. — At Third Wave Technologies, former vice president Kevin Conroy is stepping into the shoes of president and CEO. John Puisis, who was CEO since mid-2004 and previously held other executive roles at the company, has resigned.
“I came to Third Wave and stayed for a specific purpose,” Puisis said in a statement. “With a new business model and an upgraded, highly-skilled management team in place, that purpose has been completed.”
Third Wave is one of the region’s few public tech companies and makes molecular diagnostics. Its annual revenues increased steadily up to $46.5 million in 2004, though it still operated at a $1.9 million loss that year. Now, the company is going through a shift of priorities.
“John had the vision to focus Third Wave on the clinical market and was the driving force behind our transition from research tools to molecular diagnostics,” said David Thompson, chairman of Third Wave’s board, in a statement.
That transition will now be Conroy’s to complete. Though Third Wave’s reported revenue from research product sales has dropped dramatically, clinical sales and operating expenses are holding steady. In the nine months leading up to September 30 this year, the company’s net loss has been $17.9 million; in the same period last year, it made a $2.5 million profit. It still has about $54 million in cash and short-term investments.
It remains to be seen what the close of 2005 will bring for the company, but Conroy will have his plate full in 2006.
Conroy, who is 40 and comes from a legal background, joined Third Wave in mid-2004 and was soon promoted to company vice president and general counsel. Before that, he worked for GE Healthcare on its integration of Instrumentarium Corp., the $1.2-billion parent company of Datex Ohmeda, in 2003.
Conroy or another company representative could not be reached directly for comment last week or this Monday.