Toshiba president will have hands full as U.S. staff continues hemorrhaging

January 29, 1992

Toshiba's medical imaging effort in the U.S. has made considerablestrides over the past several years. But the major multimodalityimaging vendor has been plagued with personnel problems in itsU.S. operations that constitute a Japanese manager's

Toshiba's medical imaging effort in the U.S. has made considerablestrides over the past several years. But the major multimodalityimaging vendor has been plagued with personnel problems in itsU.S. operations that constitute a Japanese manager's nightmareof business American-style.

Toshiba America Medical Systems of Tustin, CA, turned overits top managers this month. The new leadership team has its workcut out. In addition to a high level of employee turnover, Toshibapaid top dollar for the MRI business of Diasonics just beforethe market turned highly competitive.

The South San Francisco-based MRI business has not performedas well as expected, according to several former and existingToshiba executives. Toshiba's ultrasound business is growing,but two Acuson managers hired to lead the effort in that modalityhave returned to their former employer--and top Toshiba competitor.

Ronald B. Schilling, TAMS senior vice president and generalmanager, retired this month but will continue to provide consultingservices to the company. Schilling's position remains open forthe time being.

President Takashi Hayashi has been rotated back to Japan andwill be replaced by Kunio Sumikawa, effective Feb. 1. Sumikawais a 30-year Toshiba veteran who served as senior manager of strategicplanning and marketing in medical systems and as senior managerfor international operations.

The departure of Schilling, who was TAMS' top American manager,follows by two months a move by its second-ranking American. DonaldSouthard, formerly vice president of sales, marketing and service,left in November to head Serviscope, a start-up imaging equipmentservice company (SCAN 12/25/91).

Southard hired away two top Toshiba executives this month tojoin him at the new company. Robert G. McGee, former directorof sales and marketing for MRI, is now vice president, sales andservice, with Serviscope. Robert K. Cate, former TAMS westernregional manager, has taken the position of director of corporateand government accounts and business strategy.

Also this month, Thomas Jedrzejewicz, director of ultrasoundmarketing, returned to Acuson as director of marketing for cardiovascularimaging. He had started at TAMS in 1989 along with Daniel Dugan,who was hired as vice president for ultrasound business operations.Dugan returned to Acuson last spring as vice president of fieldoperations (SCAN 4/10/91).

Schilling joined TAMS after leaving Diasonics nearly five yearsago. Prior to that, he had worked for GE Medical Systems. Duringhis tenure with GE, he helped form that vendor's Japanese medicalsystems joint venture, Yokogawa Medical Systems.

"The last five years have been the fulfillment of a dreamfor me," Schilling told SCAN. "When I came to TAMS in1987, we were hardly known as a player in the U.S. market. Today,TAMS is strategically positioned as a major force in the U.S.market."

Schilling's consulting business will center around Japanese/Americanbusiness relations as well as one of his favorite business topics:development of picture archiving and communications systems technologyin medical imaging.

TAMS revenue jumped from about $90 million in fiscal 1987 (end-March)to approximately $400 million in 1990, with a full year of thenew MRI business included (SCAN 5/9/90).

Last year was a hard one, however, as government regulationsrestricting physician ownership of imaging centers--as well therecession--bit into sales. TAMS trimmed the number of sales regionsand reduced support personnel during 1991 (SCAN 11/6/91).