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NuVasive, Self-claimed #3 Spine Company, Under New Interim Leadership

On Wednesday, April 1, NuVasive (NUVA) announced the appointment of Gregory Lucier as Chairman and Interim CEO following the resignation of Alex Lukianov. Mr. Lukianov stepped down after results from an independent investigation found that he failed to comply with expense reimbursement and personnel policies. Mr. Lukianov will reportedly remain as a consultant to NUVA for 18 months.

NUVA achieved 2014 sales over $760 million, growing 12% over 2013 on its path to the $1 billion mark. The company has proposed 2015 revenue guidance of $810 million, and just announced 1Q15 anticipated revenue of over $190 million. It claims the No. 3 position in the global spine market, though ORTHOWORLD estimates place it at No. 4, excluding NUVA’s biologic and neuromonitoring revenue. Matters related to the aforementioned investigation are said to be immaterial to financial results.

Analysts weighing in on the announcement suggest that this change at the helm may pave the way for NUVA’s acquisition, or at the very least, a re-evaluation of all strategic options, noting also the upcoming (and unrelated) departure of Keith Valentine as Chief Operating Officer and recent appointments of Pat Miles as President/COO and Matt Link as President, U.S. Sales and Services.

Mr. Lucier’s experience includes leadership of the small startup, Invitrogen, through its merger with Applied Biosystems and transformation of that entity, renamed Life Technologies, into a global biotechnology firm with 50,000 products, 12,000 employees and ~$4 billion in sales in more than 180 countries.


More can be learned about players in the spine segment in the newly-released ORTHOPAEDIC INDUSTRY ANNUAL REPORT®. Details on this yearly overview are available online.