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Sientra CFO resigns, new CFO named

By   /   Thursday, October 27th, 2016  /   Comments Off on Sientra CFO resigns, new CFO named

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Embattled-breast implant manufacturer Sientra said in a news release Oct. 27 that Chief Financial Officer Matthew Pigeon stepped down from his position “to pursue other opportunities.”

Patrick Williams, who most recently served as CFO of Pleasanton-based ZELTIQ Aesthetics from November 2012 until this past April, will fill Pigeon’s roll as CFO at Sientra. Williams also served about five years at San Diego medical device company NuVasive.

Pigeon served as the Goleta-based company’s CFO for about six years beginning in January 2010 and along with former CEO Hani Zeini helped lead the company through its October 2014 initial public offering.

“Sientra is approaching a major point in our business as we transition through our precision launch, establish uninterrupted manufacturing supply, and approach a period of strong growth,” Sientra CEO Jeffrey Nugent said in a news release. “I would like to thank Matt for his dedication to Sientra and for his valuable contributions in his nearly six years with the company. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

On Sept. 23, 2015, the British Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency suspended sales of Sientra’s contract manufacturer Silimed in Europe. Regulators in Australia and other parts of the world also quickly followed suit and suspended sales of Silimed products.

European regulators said Silimed’s factory in Rio de Janeiro was contaminated by microscopic particles of silica and cotton. Though the suspension by European regulators did not affect Sientra’s approval in the U.S., Sientra voluntarily pulled its products from plastic surgeons’ offices on Oct. 9.

Ultimately, regulators found particles just 20 nanometers in size. Surgeons told the Business Times that such extremely small particles would not threaten patients.

Sales of Sientra implants resumed March 1, using inventory previously made by Silimed, which was unable to manufacture implants because an Oct. 22, 2015 fire burned down its factory.

Since last September, the company has also been dogged by allegations from angry shareholders that the company knew about the forthcoming suspension of Silimed products before it held a nearly simultaneous second public offering on Sept. 23, 2015.

As of Oct. 27, lawsuits filed in federal court in Los Angeles and state court in San Mateo are in the late stages of settlement discussions. Zeini resigned from the company last November at the scandal’s height and later resigned from Sientra’s board of directors in February.

On Aug. 9, the company announced Wisconsin-based Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary Vesta will begin manufacturing its silicone breast implants in 2017. Nugent also said at the time the company will line-up a backup manufacturer to ensure this type of supply chain collapse does not happen again.

• Contact Philip Joens at [email protected]

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