LCA-Vision Restructures, Names Celebrezze CEO, Cuts Jobs and Converts Vision Centers

By
CINCINNATI— LCA-Vision Inc. (NASDAQ: LCAV), which provides laser vision correction services under the Lasik Plus brand, named Michael Celebrezze chief executive officer, effective immediately. The company also eliminated 31 full-time equivalent positions from about 340 employees in order to cut costs. Celebrezze had been chief financial officer since 2008, jointly serving as the company’s leadership with David Thomas, who was chief operating officer until he left the company Dec. 31, 2012, to pursue a new role as a cofounder of a science and technology firm.

LCA-Vision also promoted Amy Kappen to chief financial officer from vice president, corporate controller, and Bharat Kakar to senior vice president of operations and marketing from vice president of operations and patient experience. Meanwhile, the company announced initiatives to reduce annual operating expenses by $5 million, about half through terminations and half through reduction of hours, including both corporate and center-level positions.

The firm, which runs 55 LasikPlus centers in the U.S., is closing its vision center in Seattle and is converting centers in Woodbridge, N.J., and Chandler, Ariz., to its satellite model to provide exams for patient referrals to nearby full-service centers. The company expects the changes to lower the number of procedures per year necessary to reach cash-flow breakeven to about 58,000 from 68,000. One-time restructuring and impairment charges will total $2.1 million, with $1.8 million recorded in 2012 and the remaining $300,000 to be recorded in 2013. In its most recent quarter, the company reported a $3.5 million loss on revenue of about $20 million, as reported by VMail Nov. 2, 2012.