Dornier builds worldwide structure to support growth in medical lines

October 23, 1991

Dornier Medizintechnik largely completed the worldwide restructuringof its medical business this month. However, the position of Phoenix-basedAcoustic Imaging within Dornier's ultrasound division will continueto evolve through the end of this year, said

Dornier Medizintechnik largely completed the worldwide restructuringof its medical business this month. However, the position of Phoenix-basedAcoustic Imaging within Dornier's ultrasound division will continueto evolve through the end of this year, said Eckhard Polzer, chairmanand managing director.

Polzer, formerly president and CEO of Dornier Medical Systems(DMSI) in Atlanta, was promoted to head medical systems worldwide,based in Munich, Germany.

Dornier Medizintechnik has formed three product divisions:urology equipment, including lithotripsy and urological ultrasound;general ultrasound imaging; and lasers/surgery (SCAN 9/11/91).The new structure will sharpen Dornier's customer focus and createoperational coherence within a business that has grown rapidlyover the past two years, Polzer told SCAN.

The changes also indicate that parent Deutsche Aerospace,a member of Germany's large Daimler-Benz group, supports a growingposition for Dornier in the medical field. Deutsche Aerospaceis working to strengthen Dornier Medizintechnik's finances toback growth in this business, he said.

"This is a clear indication that Deutsche Aerospace andDaimler-Benz are standing behind the medical business," hesaid. "Otherwise we would not go through this exercise (ofrestructuring)."

Dornier's acquisition two years ago of a controlling interestin Acoustic Imaging (SCAN 9/27/89) was the first strong indicationthat Daimler-Benz endorsed expansion of the medical business.Integrating AI within the total Dornier organization is a naturalcontinuation of this investment by the German firm, he said.

"To some extent, we needed to make sure we were the owner.That is normal," Polzer said.

Combining Dornier's European and U.S. ultrasound will helpthe firm develop a coherent product line worldwide and improvecorporate control of the business, he said.

Dornier is weaving DMSI and AI more closely together in theU.S., he said. A financial group in Atlanta will help supportAI as well as the urological and laser businesses in the U.S.,which are also centered in Atlanta. There has been an exchangeof personnel between Phoenix and Atlanta, with AI ultrasound employeesmoved to DMSI to work with urological ultrasound and marketingstaff transferred from DMSI to AI.

Dornier's worldwide headquarters for urology and lasers isin Germany. The laser business is managed by Walter Proske, whoalso heads MBB Medical, Dornier's laser subsidiary. James Myhre,vice president, has been placed in charge of the U.S. laser/surgerydivision. Robert Minton, also vice president, heads up Dornier'surological business in the U.S. and reports to division managerStefan Eisenberg in Munich. Dornier's service for all equipmentlines is based at DMSI and headed by vice president Richard Cline,Polzer said.

It is not clear where the world headquarters of Dornier'sultrasound business will be located, he said. Reinhard Warnking,formerly in charge of Dornier's European ultrasound business,is now division manager of worldwide ultrasound and presidentand CEO of AI.

Regardless of the structure for ultrasound, this imaging modalityis expected to provide much of the momentum for Dornier's growthin medical over the next several years. Eventually, it may surpasslithotripsy as the leading medical line for the company, Polzersaid.

"We see the greatest growth coming in the ultrasound areabecause ultrasound diagnosis is growing rapidly," Polzersaid.

Although Dornier will spend time consolidating its existingmedical business lines, the firm is already planning for futureexpansion. Other medical imaging modalities might be consideredin the future, but the list of potential new imaging productsis smaller than in other medical areas, he said.

"There are not too many (imaging modalities) other thanultrasound that show the necessary growth to enter in at thislate stage," Polzer said.