Elscint’s Spackman leaves as chief executive of U.S. unit

Resignation marks fifth departure of imaging execDr. Thomas Spackman became the latest CEO to step down from a multimodality OEM when he announced his resignation this week as president and CEO of Elscint Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Israeli

Resignation marks fifth departure of imaging exec

Dr. Thomas Spackman became the latest CEO to step down from a multimodality OEM when he announced his resignation this week as president and CEO of Elscint Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Israeli medical imaging company Elscint. Spackman will continue as a consultant to Elscint, and will remain on the company's board of directors.

Spackman became head of Elscint in 1993, after serving as chairman of radiology at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford, CT. He is one of the few radiologists ever to serve as head of a medical imaging vendor.

Spackman's goal at the time he assumed Elscint's reins was to improve the company's relationship with customers, a relationship that had become strained over the years, despite Elscint's reputation for cutting-edge technology. He believes he succeeded.

"The mission was to take (Elscint) from a company that was focused on technology and bring to its U.S. organization a culture that recognized what doctors and patients need," Spackman said. "I think we've gone a long way to doing that."

Elscint has promoted several executives at the Hackensack, NJ, subsidiary to assume additional responsibilities while the company makes a decision on a CEO, according to Spackman. Senior vice president of operations Peter Annand, a former Toshiba veteran who joined Elscint last year, has been named COO. Sandra Serrett-Curran has been moved from vice president of finance to senior vice president, while former Siemens executive Chuck Armstrong has joined the company as vice president and business unit manager for CT and MRI.

As for Spackman, he has no immediate employment plans lined up, but would like to pursue new opportunities on the business side of healthcare rather than return to private practice.

Spackman's resignation marks the fifth departure of a major imaging executive since January. The exodus has included John Trani of GE Medical Systems, Thomas Miller and Robert Dumke from Siemens Medical Systems, and Michael Moakley of Philips Medical Systems. Interestingly, all have left their respective positions for jobs outside medical imaging.

Is there a connection between the resignations? Or is it simply an example of an industry's best and brightest leaving for greener pastures? Spackman believes that coincidence is probably the only factor linking the departures.

"It really is interesting that this is happening," Spackman said. "It is a tough market, but I presume there is a fair amount of randomness in all this."