Cutera CEO David Mowry leaves

  • After less than four years in the position
  • Sheila Hopkins taking over temporarily
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Brisbane, California, April 12, 2023 — David Mowry, chief executive of Cutera, leaves his position. As announced by Cutera Inc. in a news release on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, David H. Mowry leaves his post as chief executive officer at the provider of aesthetic and dermatology products, after less than four years in the role, effective immediately.

The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 7.8 years. This is according to data collected by CEO-exit research firm exechange.

exechange tracks CEO departures at the 3,000 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S., examines the reasons CEOs leave and determines the Push‑out Score™, a measure of pressure on departing chief executives on a scale of 0 to 10.

Cutera will undertake a search for a successor.

David Mowry’s duties as CEO will be taken over temporarily by Sheila A. Hopkins, a former President, Global Vision Care and Executive Vice President at Bausch & Lomb, as Interim Chief Executive Officer.

The Board of Directors has appointed Janet D. Widmann as Independent Chair of the Board, effective immediately.


Cutera said: “The appointments of Ms. Hopkins and Ms. Widmann follow the immediate terminations of Daniel Plants as Executive Chairman and David Mowry as CEO, for cause. The Board’s decision to terminate Mr. Plants and Mr. Mowry was made following joint and unanimous recommendations from a special committee comprising all members of the Board’s Governance and Corporate Responsibility Committee and the majority of the members of the Board of Directors.”

“Direct violation of their employment agreements”

Cutera further stated: “In November 2022, the Board’s independent directors began exploring a CEO transition. Mr. Plants strongly recommended the immediate termination of Mr. Mowry and indicated that he wanted to succeed him as the Company’s next CEO. This followed a previous attempt by Mr. Plants to gain the CEO role in February 2021 by recommending removing Mr. Mowry. After serious consideration, the Board instead decided to seek an external CEO candidate with the assistance of an executive search firm. Following that decision, in an apparent campaign to seize control of the Company, Mr. Mowry and Mr. Plants issued a press release in which they disclosed – and blatantly mischaracterized in a defamatory manner – highly confidential internal deliberations of the Board in direct violation of their employment agreements and their fiduciary duties as directors and officers under Delaware law.”

The top three reasons cited in corporate announcements for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (27.8% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (16.5%) and the statement that the time was right for a change (10.4%), according to exechange data. Other motives given for leadership changes included the outgoing CEO’s wish to pursue other opportunities (5.7% of cases), personal reasons (3.8%) and conduct issues (1.9%). Rather rarely stated reasons are health problems (1.6% of cases), disagreement (1.3%), death (1.3%), the desire for more time with family (0.9%) and career change (0.6%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 28.2% of cases, no reason was given.

Precise information regarding David Mowry’s future plans was not immediately available.

Share price decline since April 2022

The announcement follows a decline in Cutera Inc.’s share price of 32% since April 2022.

In the position of CEO since 2019

David Mowry became CEO of the Company in 2019.

David H. Mowry was appointed as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board on July 8, 2019.

Prior to joining Cutera, from May 2016 to October 2018, Mowry served as President and Chief Executive Officer, as well as a member of the Board of Directors, of Vyaire Medical, a global leader in the respiratory diagnostics, ventilation, and anesthesia delivery and patient monitoring market segments.

Prior to his assignment at Vyaire, Mowry served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Wright Medical Group N.V., a global medical device company focused on extremities and biologics products, from October 2015 to May 2016, and during this time period he was also a member of the Board of Directors of EndoChoice Holdings, Inc., a company focused on the manufacturing and commercialization of platform technologies relating to the treatment of gastrointestinal conditions.

Prior to Mowry’s assignment at Wright Medical Group, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Tornier N.V. from February 2013 until October 2015, at which time Tornier and Wright Medical Group merged, and prior to that, as Chief Operating Officer of Tornier from 2011 to 2013.

Within the spine industry, Mowry served as Vice President of Operations and Logistics at Zimmer Spine from February 2002 until October 2006.

Mowry has held executive leadership positions over his thirty-year medical device career at Covidien plc, ev3, Inc. and Zimmer Spine, Inc.

Mowry is on the Board of directors of Alphatec Holdings, Inc., a public medical technology company that designs, develops, and markets products for the surgical treatment of spine disorders.

Mowry received a B.S. degree in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

No statement by David Mowry

The announcement of his departure as CEO does not include a statement by David Mowry.

Over the past 12 months, 24% of all outgoing CEOs remained silent in the departure announcement, according to data compiled by exechange. Departing CEOs who did make a statement said an average of 109 words. The longest statement was 510 words. The shortest statement was 23 words. Leadership transitions in which departing CEOs provide conspicuously short or no explanations for their move are statistically associated with elevated pressure and show an increased incidence of Push-out Scores above the critical threshold of 5, according to exechange data.

40% of CEOs are forced out or fired

When CEO departures are announced, exechange determines the Push-out Score on a scale of 0 to 10 to assess how likely it is that the chief executive was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position, with 0 being most likely a voluntary move and 10 being most likely a forced exit. Anything over a 5 indicates that there are valid reasons to believe an executive may have been pushed out.

Of the 316 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (April 12, 2022, to April 11, 2023), the average Push-out Score was 6.1, according to exechange data. References to conduct issues, disagreements and irregularities lead to the highest Push-out Scores. When performance issues, time with family or personal reasons were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.

Around 40% of the CEO departure events from the past 12 months received Push-out Scores of 8 or higher.

In other words, in the past 12 months, three in eight departing CEOs were forced out or fired.

Push-out Score for David Mowry’s move determined

The Push-out Score regarding David Mowry’s move is explained point by point in the exechange report.

exechange reached out to Cutera and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 16.2023 ($).