ST. LOUIS, MO – April 18, 2012 – TLC Laser Eye Centers, North America’s premier provider of LASIK and refractive eye care services, today announced that it has appointed George Neal to the position of Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Neal joins TLC with more than 25 years of experience in the ophthalmic industry. Most recently, he served as Division Vice President, Global Sales and International Marketing, with Santa Ana, Calif.‐based Abbott Medical Optics. Prior to Abbott, he was Vice President of Corporate Development for Eyeonics; he also held positions with Alcon Labs, Inc., Allergan Optical and Procter & Gamble Co. Neal’s position returns him to the St. Louis area where he once served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Catalina Health Resource.
“George is the ideal person to lead TLC as we look to invest in the business and take advantage of the multiple growth opportunities we see on the horizon,” said Tim Palmer, Managing Director of Charlesbank Capital Partners and a member of TLC’s board of directors. “The current management team has made extraordinary strides during a challenging economic environment to position the company for such growth. We are excited about TLC’s future.”
“I have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Neal in a variety of roles for more than a decade. His commitment to leadership and his business insight are qualities that he has revealed and proved over these tough times in business in general. His keen eye for innovative technology has allowed companies to thrive when their competitors have failed. With Mr. Neal at the helm I feel confident the only direction for TLC is forward into the future. In the business of Laser Vision Correction you want a leader who understands the technology and the innovations to come. Mr. Neal definitely has proven these facts time and time again.”
Karl Stonecipher, MD
“I have spent many hours over the years meeting and discussing with Mr. Neal the business of refractive surgery which is not just LASIK, but premium IOL’s and new elective technologies on the horizon. I believe he understands how they can be incorporated into our practices which will delivery superior patient outcomes and experiences. This will help support our strong image and leadership position in the industry. I am a strong supporter of our Optometric referral network and it has been critical to my success over the years. Mr. Neal’s experience & understanding of the Optometric channel will prove invaluable to TLC. This is a great match for TLC.”
Alan Berg, MD
“George Neal has an in depth understanding of LASIK technology, the market, and a personal relationship with the thought leaders in refractive surgery. This unique talent set makes him a great choice as CEO of TLC. As a LASIK surgeon who has worked with him for over a decade I am very excited about the opportunity for George to help grow the LASIK market for my practice and TLC.”
Eric Donnenfeld, MD
Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island
Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology NYU