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Opternative Changes Its Name

It’s changing because the old name ‘positioned the brand as an existential threat’ to ODs.

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CHICAGO — Opternative is changing its name.

From now on the company, which offers online vision tests and prescriptions, will be known as Visibly. The company said in a press release that its new name “fully embraces the solutions it offers the eye care industry and appropriately represents the broad scope of who it can serve.”

“We understand that our previous company name, Opternative, carried a negative connotation in the eye care industry and positioned the brand as an existential threat to Optometrists,” said Dr. Steven Lee, founder and chief science officer of Visibly.

“This is why it was important for us to rebrand the company with a name that better represents the partnerships we’re building with eye care providers and eyewear retailers in the industry.”

The company stated that it “involved many key stakeholders in the decision-making process for its new name through interviews with board members, industry experts, doctors, investors, and internal employees.”

“Our company believes that every human on earth deserves affordable access to eye care, wherever they are, all of the time,” said Brent Rasmussen, CEO of Visibly.

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“Our new name Visibly represents this belief and inspires confidence within the industry to embrace positive change that will help more people see more clearly, more often.”

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Insurer Launches National Vision Lab Network with Essilor

It will serve 19M+ vision plan participants.

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MINNETONKA, MN – UnitedHealthcare has launched a national vision laboratory network n collaboration with Essilor.

The network will serve more than 19 million vision plan participants, United said in a press release. Essilor operates the largest optical lab network in the country.

The expanded laboratory options are now serving UnitedHealthcare’s eyecare provider network, which includes independent optometrists and ophthalmologists.

The laboratory network expansion was announced by John Ryan, general manager of UnitedHealthcare Vision, at the Vision Monday Global Leadership Summit in New York.

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“Expanding the UnitedHealthcare Vision laboratory network is an important part of our strategy to help eye care professionals provide our millions of vision plan participants access to quality eye care and affordable, stylish eyewear,” said Ryan.

“This expansion gives eye care providers more choice and flexibility, while consumers benefit from access to the full range of eyewear technology and future product innovations.”

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There’s a Problem with the Luxottica-Essilor Merger

The combined organization is plagued by infighting.

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Things aren’t going so well at EssilorLuxottica SA, the company created by the merger of Essilor International and Luxottica Group, Bloomberg reports.

The organization is plagued by infighting among its leadership. Its share price is down 22 percent since the October merger, Bloomberg notes.

Luxottica founder Leonardo Del Vecchio says Essilor’s leaders aren’t sticking to the agreed-upon terms of corporate governance, according to Bloomberg. He’s the combined company’s largest shareholder and serves as its executive chairman.

Meanwhile, Essilor’s Hubert Sagnieres, who serves as vice chairman of the merged organization, says Del Vecchio has staged a “de facto attempt to take control of the new group.” He claims Del Vecchio has made false accusations as to the group’s governance and management.

Del Vecchio previously told Le Figaro, a French newspaper, that Sagnieres failed to communicate with him on matters such as filling key management jobs.

“He has acted as if Essilor bought Luxottica,” Del Vecchio was quoted saying.

The companies completed their merger in October.

Following the contribution by Delfin, at the time the majority shareholder of Luxottica, of its 62.42 percent stake in Luxottica to Essilor on Oct. 1, Essilor became the parent company of Luxottica and was renamed EssilorLuxottica.

Read more at Bloomberg

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Eyecare Equipment Firm Names CEO

The appointment is effective immediately.

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NORFOLK, VA — Advancing Eyecare, a newly formed holding company owned by private equity firm Atlantic Street Capital, announce the appointment of Brad Staley to the role of CEO.

Staley will oversee all operations of Advancing Eyecare’s ophthalmic equipment industry businesses Lombart Instrument, Marco, INNOVA and Enhanced Medical Services.

Staley joins Advancing Eyecare with over 24 years of global operating experience in healthcare, technology and manufacturing companies, including most recently as CEO of United Scope, a private equity-owned global provider of microscopy and optical solutions. Prior to United Scope, he led vision care companies for more than a decade in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. Staley served as president of Signet Armorlite, a business unit of Essilor, and chief operating officer of Performance Optics, a global ophthalmic lens manufacturer recently sold to HOYA Corp.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in physics, Staley also holds an MBA from Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and served as a naval officer on the USS Enterprise.

Advancing Eyecare is a wholly owned portfolio company of Atlantic Street Capital, which formed Advancing Eyecare earlier this year in partnership with Lombart Instrument and Marco Ophthalmic. The group is made up of an alliance of leading ophthalmic instrument providers in North America, including Lombart Instrument, INNOVA Medical Ophthalmics, Enhanced Medical Services and, most recently, Marco Ophthalmic.

“With the addition of Marco Ophthalmic, the Advancing Eyecare group is now truly a ‘one-stop’ solution for eyecare practitioners throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico,” Staley said. “With our broad range of technology, products, and services, we are uniquely positioned to partner with our customers to help provide the highest possible level of eye care for their patients.”

Andy Wilkins, managing partner of Atlantic Street Capital, said, “We couldn’t be more delighted with the appointment of Brad. He is a results-oriented, high-integrity leader with an excellent track record of improving service levels, operational efficiency, sales results, and increasing value across a range of PE-backed businesses. Brad’s background and experience, combined with the high quality assets and team at Advancing Eyecare, will bring accelerated benefits for our customers…both in terms of service levels and overall value.”

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