Activ Surgical taps another Olympus alum as CEO, replacing inaugural leader Usen

Activ Surgical taps another Olympus alum as CEO, replacing inaugural leader Usen

Nearly four years after appointing its first CEO, Activ Surgical has found a new leader to head up the surgical software startup.

Manisha Shah-Bugaj, currently Activ’s chief operating officer, will take the reins from Todd Usen, who took on the role in January 2019, not long after the company’s 2017 founding. Once the transition of power is complete, Usen will stay on as a member of the board of directors, according to Activ’s Wednesday announcement.

Usen described the news as “bittersweet” in a LinkedIn post Wednesday.

“It was my initial goal to help lead Activ Surgical from concept to commercialization, and I am proud that we accomplished this goal. I’m equally proud of our work to develop cutting-edge products to aid surgeons, provide critical real-time intelligence and surgical visualization, and reduce preventable surgical errors,” he wrote. “I am humbled and grateful to have watched us go from an idea to a company valued at approximately $200M in four short years!”

Usen also offered a shout-out to his successor, crediting Shah-Bugaj as an “incredible medtech leader.”

Shah-Bugaj has been at Activ since the start of this year, when she was appointed COO in January.

Before that, she spent the better part of two decades at Olympus—coincidentally, also Usen’s old stomping grounds, as he served as president of Olympus’ medical systems group in the Americas from 2015 to 2018.

Shah-Bugaj joined Gyrus ACMI in 2005 and soon was added to the Olympus roster when the medtech giant acquired the surgical instrument maker in 2008. After a dozen years spent at the subsidiary—culminating in a stint as executive director of marketing in Gyrus’ surgical energy division—she moved to Olympus’ Americas segment and proceeded to lead the establishment and growth of its gynecology unit in the U.S. By the time she left to join Activ, Shah-Bugaj had climbed the ladder to become general manager and vice president of the entire global gynecology business.

“I am dedicated to developing cutting-edge medical technologies that solve the biggest challenges in healthcare,” she wrote in a LinkedIn post of her own, adding, “I can’t wait to lead this extraordinary team into Activ Surgical’s next chapter as we aim to usher in a new era of patient safety and surgical care in operating rooms around the world.”

In her new role, Shah-Bugaj will be charged with leading the global launch of the company’s first product, ActivSight Intelligent Light, which uses augmented reality to overlay real-time surgical camera views with automated measurements and other date. ActivSight was cleared by the FDA last year and received CE mark clearance in Europe earlier this month.

That worldwide rollout will be backed by millions in VC funding that Activ has racked up throughout its half-decade lifetime. Most recently, in the spring of this year, it tacked on an extension to last year’s series B round, bringing the total take to $60 million and nearly tripling the startup’s all-time funding in the process.

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