Intuitive Surgical CEO hands off president title to longtime company vet Dave Rosa

Amid a period of rapid growth for Intuitive Surgical, the robotics maker is also expanding its power structure.

Intuitive is implementing a few changes to its executive team, according to a Tuesday announcement, including the separation of its president and CEO roles. Gary Guthart, Ph.D., has held the dual position for over a decade, since the start of 2010, and had previously served as both president and chief operating officer beginning in 2006.

Now, however, as Guthart hangs on to the CEO title, a new president will take the reins. Intuitive has tapped Dave Rosa for the job; he’ll be in charge of overseeing the company’s entire core business, heading up its product, digital, quality, regulatory, supply chain, manufacturing and commercial teams.

“As Intuitive has grown and demand for robotic-assisted surgery has increased, we remain focused on our mission to advance minimally invasive care and our commitment to working with customers to meaningfully improve patient outcomes,” Guthart said in the announcement. “Aligning our core business functions under Dave, a proven and outstanding leader with broad and deep experience across Intuitive, equips us to meet future opportunities to collaborate with hospitals and healthcare systems to address healthcare challenges at significant scale.”

Rosa—like Guthart—has been at Intuitive since 1996, a year after its founding and shortly before the debut of the Da Vinci robotic surgery system at the turn of the millennium. Throughout those nearly three decades, he’s held a series of leadership roles across the company’s commercial, marketing and clinical and business development operations. Most recently, in 2021, he was appointed chief strategy and growth officer, making him an executive vice president.

Before joining Intuitive, Rosa helped develop transesophageal transducers for ultrasound maker Acuson, which went on to be acquired by Siemens AG for $700 million in 2000 and is now part of Siemens Healthineers.

“Our efforts over the past 27 years have created great opportunities to serve our customers better and in new ways. I look forward to leading our continued development of innovative, outcomes-focused products, services, and solutions,” Rosa said. “Intuitive aims to deliver excellence in customer experience, industry-leading innovation and meaningful expansion of minimally invasive care. My goal is to help the company continue to deliver on these aims.”

Stepping into the space left by Rosa, meanwhile, is Bob DeSantis, who previously served as an executive VP at Intuitive and its chief product officer. In a slight switch-up from Rosa’s former title, DeSantis has been named chief strategy and corporate operations officer, tasked with overseeing the company’s strategic planning, operational structure and business management.

Both Rosa and DeSantis’ new appointments—and Guthart’s abdication of the president post—are effective immediately, Intuitive said in the announcement.