Following a $600M fundraising, robot maker CMR Surgical maps out European expansion

What’s next for a surgical robotics developer that’s been riding high after raising a monstrous £425 million last summer? According to CMR Surgical, world domination—or, at the very least, European domination.

To get there, the U.K.-based medtech has laid out a plan of attack that includes dividing up the continent into sales regions and appointing managers of each region, all of whom will report to a single general manager of all of CMR’s commercial efforts in Europe.

The “divide and conquer” approach breaks up the continent into more manageable sections, helping CMR better cater to the specific needs of each region and speed up sales and distribution of its Versius robotic surgery system, according to the company.

“Europe is a key strategic market for CMR, and having highly accomplished leaders with broad, senior executive experience on the ground in Europe will enable us to empower local teams and make decisions closer to the customer,” Steve Bell, CMR’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement.

At the top of the European pyramid will be Olivier Wolber, the newly appointed European general manager, who will oversee all of the commercial expansion efforts across the continent. He joins CMR after a six-year stint at Smith & Nephew, the bulk of which was spent as managing director and general manager of the devicemaker’s business throughout various segments of Europe.

“I am excited and honored to take on this new role at such a pivotal time in the company’s journey as it continues to see massive opportunity and continued strong momentum in the regions and globally,” Wolber said.

Under him, the continent will be separated into four regions, each led by a general manager. Franz Mazzone, who previously oversaw the company’s commercial development in southern Europe, will take on CMR’s Italian business, while another company alum, Ana Raduc, is transitioning from commercial lead of the U.K. and Ireland region to general manager of the same area.

Rounding out the regional managers are two new hires. Patricia Chesnais, now leading the France and Benelux region, previously held leadership roles at Johnson & Johnson, Philips, surgical devicemaker Bard—both before and after its 2017 acquisition by BD—and more.

The Spain and Portugal region, meanwhile, will be led by Massimo Carone, who spent six years at J&J and, most recently, a decade at Stryker, culminating in a four-year post as managing director of its European operations.

Alongside the new group of general managers, CMR has also tapped Colin Eke, previously its head of commercial business throughout the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, to manage new business development in Europe.

All of these staffing switch-ups come just a few months after CMR raked in 425 million pounds, or about $600 million, in a series D funding round that sent the company’s valuation soaring to $3 billion.

At the time, CMR said the funds would help speed up the rollout of its modular Versius system throughout Europe and around the world, with a particular focus on securing FDA clearance to begin marketing the surgical robot in the U.S.