July 11, 2023

A Tale of Two Markets for Medical Device Executives

After two record years for executive recruiting in medical devices, the market is modestly slower. There’s still plenty of recruiting going on, but it’s nowhere near the overheated extremes of 2021.

The overall healthy level of activity, however, masks a deep division in the market. One sector continues to thrive, while another is severely depressed. Here’s my take on what’s going on.

The market can be divided into two parts: Companies that need to raise money and those that don’t. Profit making companies with established businesses are doing quite well. On the other side, startups and other money-losing companies are in in an exceptionally difficult environment. 

For that first group – the established, money-making companies —conditions in 2023 have improved. Pandemic disruptions are in the rearview mirror, and hospital operations have returned to normal. Supply chain issues have largely been resolved and inflation is slowing down. For the first time in several years, these businesses are in a stable environment. Executive recruiting at these companies is strong.

Companies that need to raise money, however, face the worst environment in years. The highest quality startups continue to be funded, but everyone else is in trouble. Worst off are those that raised a lot of money in the past and are still far from breakeven. Many of them won’t exist a year from now. Naturally, these companies have dramatically cut back on hiring at all levels.

The pain among money-losing companies is a necessary purge of excesses that built up over the last several years. My track record with predictions is not great, but I think we are near the bottom and will begin to see improvement in the fourth quarter. Then, emerging companies will be poised for another cycle of strong investment and growth.

All the changes we’ve seen this year are part of a return to a more balanced employment market. That will be good for employers and employees.

One sector continues to thrive, while another is severely depressed

Words
of Praise

The ZAGENO brand was not widely known. Mike helped sell our vision and delivered top-quality expertise to our company.

— Florian Wegener, CEO, ZAGENO