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Staying Flexible When Strategies Shift

Board of Directors Searches

Staying Flexible When Strategies Shift


Our private equity client held an early-stage investment in a cardiovascular medical device company. They had a promising new product and wanted a new board member to help them navigate the byzantine FDA and CE regulatory processes as quickly as possible. With approval, they hoped to exit through a liquidity event.

Target Profile

  • A former CEO of a cardiac implant device company;
  • Experience with CE marking and FDA regulatory approval; and
  • Has navigated a successful liquidity event.

The Search

Matching a profile with so many highly specific technical requirements—that’s a tall order.  Even the client had doubts.  But we succeeded in introducing them to a number of strong candidates in just a few weeks.

During their interviews, the client realized their actual needs were different from what they initially thought—which is not unusual in a board search. We revised their desired profile to reflect someone with the contacts required to attract potential buyers or go public: a former executive of a multi-national medical device company.

The Results

With the new direction, we had to pivot quickly. Apex presented the client with four high-quality candidates that matched the new profile, including:

  • President, St. Jude Medical, Cardiac Surgery Division (formerly)
  • Founder and Chairman, Abiomed (formerly)
  • Founder, CoreValue (formerly)
  • President, US Division, St. Jude Medical

Our client ultimately selected one of these cardiac leaders.  Just as important, the client was able to expand their own network by developing rapport with the other cardiac implant veterans we introduced them to—all of whom offered their assistance on an as-needed basis.

Last Word

"When we gave Apex Leaders the assignment to search for a Board Member with cardiac implant experience, I was skeptical that they would find good candidates given such narrow criteria. Dave and Pat took the challenge and delivered a number of highly qualified candidates in a very short period of time. They were very responsive, took the time to understand our business and needs, and were very easy to work with. I will not hesitate, and look forward to engaging Apex Leaders again."  --CEO, Client's portfolio company

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