CULVER CITY, CA (March 15, 2005) — KARL STORZ Endoscopy-America, Inc. (KSEA), a global leader in endoscopy and medical video imaging systems, is pleased to announce that Charles H. Wilhelm has been promoted to President – Chief Operating Officer. In his expanded role, Wilhelm is now responsible for the overall operations of KSEA.
The company is also pleased to announce that Frances Ridlehoover joined KSEA on February 1, 2005, as Vice President – Operations. Ridlehoover is the former Chief Operating Officer for the UCLA Hospital System. Among her responsibilities at KSEA, she will lead initiatives related to the KARL STORZ Technology Center and Centers of Excellence.
Wilhelm previously was the Executive Vice President, Operations, for KSEA. In this position, he oversaw Sales, Human Resources and Regulatory Affairs, as well as serving as a member of the executive management team. He has been active in developing corporate strategies to promote profitability, business growth and increased market share for KARL STORZ through the introduction of state-of-the-art technologies. Among his accomplishments has been overseeing significant growth in the sales of the OR1® Integrated Operating Room and the successful launch of the Field Service Technician (FST) program, a customer-centric approach to repair services.
Announcing Wilhelm’s promotion, Jack A. Frydrych, CEO of KARL STORZ North America Region, said, “Those of us who have witnessed Charlie’s leadership throughout his 13 years at KSEA know that he possesses the integrity, determination, knowledge and real-world business acumen that are integral to KSEA’s continued success and growth. We applaud his many accomplishments and thank him for the positive contributions he has made and continues to make to the KARL STORZ organization.”
Wilhelm joined KSEA in 1992 as the Executive Director of Sales. He developed a successful expansion program that re-engineered the distribution model for KSEA, which more than doubled the company’s sales. This was instrumental in KSEA achieving continued sales growth in an environment of cost containment. Wilhelm became the Vice President of Sales for KSEA in 1999 and was promoted to Executive Vice President, Operations, in 2002.
In announcing the addition of Frances Ridlehoover to the KSEA management team, Wilhelm said, “We look forward to the fresh perspective and the many contributions that we know she will bring to KSEA. Our company has traditionally focused on maintaining a customer-centric approach to business. One of the strengths that Frances brings to KSEA is the depth of her understanding of our customers, which will be a valuable asset in aligning our business model with what our customers want and need.” He added, “She also brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from her 25 years with UCLA, where she rose from Medical Technologist in the Clinical Laboratory at the Medical Center to become Chief Operating Officer of UCLA Hospital System from 1999 to 2004.”
Ridlehoover oversaw creation of the UCLA Center for the Advancement of Surgical and Interventional Technology (CASIT) and the Gonda/UCLA Robotic Surgery Center. She was also responsible for the planning, development and coordination of three replacement hospital projects: the UCLA Medical Center, Westwood; the Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center; and the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital. Ridlehoover is a graduate of Texas A & M University and of the UCLA Anderson Graduate School Executive Program in Academic Healthcare Management.