Oct. 23, 2009 (GlobeNewswire) --
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 23, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Nasdaq:ISRG), the industry leader in surgical robotics, today announced the next step in its CEO succession plan. Lonnie Smith, currently Chairman and CEO, will transition to the role of Chairman of the Board and Gary Guthart, currently President and Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed by the Board of Directors to the roles of President and CEO, both actions effective January 1, 2010.
"From its earliest beginnings, Intuitive has been blessed with exceptional people across the organization. Our past and future success has been and will be the result of the leadership and hard work of many very gifted, talented and dedicated individuals. Gary has been one of those people who has played a pivotal role in the development of our products, our organization, our values, and in the growth of our company. He is an individual of unquestionable character, humility, exceptional intellectual curiosity, great intellectual capacity and personal energy," said Lonnie Smith.
Mr. Guthart joined Intuitive Surgical, Inc. in April 1996 and became Vice President, Engineering in November 1999. He was promoted to Sr. Vice President, Product Operations in 2002 and President and Chief Operating Officer in 2006. Previously, Mr. Guthart was part of the core team developing foundation technology for computer enhanced-surgery at SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute). Mr. Guthart holds MS and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering Science from the California Institute of Technology and a BS degree in Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Alan Levy, Director and Chairman of the Governance and Nominating Committee said, "This announcement is the result of a succession plan that has been in process for the past several years. On behalf of Intuitive Surgical's Board of Directors, we would like to thank Lonnie for his tireless efforts to make Intuitive Surgical the truly unique and successful company that it has become. Lonnie has done an incredible job leading the company from its earliest stages and is leaving his post as CEO with the Company well-positioned for future success. We look forward to his continued leadership as Chairman."
About Intuitive's Products
Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Nasdaq:ISRG), headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, is the global technology leader in robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery. Intuitive Surgical develops, manufactures and markets robotic technologies designed to improve clinical outcomes and help patients return more quickly to active and productive lives. The Company's mission is to extend the benefits of minimally invasive surgery to the broadest possible base of patients.