VSP Global Hires Michael Hansen, Formerly of Luxottica, as President of New Retail Development Division

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RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.— VSP Global has tapped Michael Hansen, a 27-year veteran of Luxottica, to be president of its newly created Retail Development division, the fifth within the global optical company. The new division will “develop optical and business solutions that help VSP network doctors become more competitive retailers in an evolving marketplace,” according to Rob Lynch, CEO of VSP Global. Hansen will be responsible for “setting the strategic direction of the organization’s focus on creating competitive retail strategies for VSP providers in a growing retail-oriented space,” according to a statement from the company.

To further explain the new division’s mission, a VSP spokesperson told VMail, “VSP is committed to remaining a vital force in the global vision care space for both VSP members and VSP providers. Recently announced Personal Optics, in partnership with Essilor, is an example of what this division will focus its efforts on—developing optical and business solutions that help VSP network doctors, if they choose to participate, become more competitive retailers in an evolving marketplace. Eyeconic is another great example of what will be a focus as we continue working toward a solution that addresses current and future consumer demands by providing online options for those patients that are looking for it, but keeping those patients connected to their eye doctor.”

The “Personal Optics” partnership with Essilor was announced as a test co-branding market concept by VMail Jan. 13, 2014. The Eyeconic online retailing initiative was test marketed in 2011, as reported by VMail, Jan. 4, 2011. It was launched as eStores by Eyeconic in 2012, as reported by VMail, March 5, 2012.

In his new role at the Retail Development division, Hansen will report to Lynch. He started with VSP Global at the start of this year after nearly three decades with Luxottica. His most recent senior executive positions included vice president of Sunglass Hut business development and store operations, leading mergers and acquisitions and the growth of licensed business models with Macy’s and Hudson’s; senior vice president and general manager of the Luxury Retail group, where he led the development and launch of Luxottica’s first luxury retail brand, Ilori; and senior vice president, strategic environments, where his team built Sunglass Hut’s first flagship store in Times Square.

“VSP is committed to remaining a vital force in the global vision care space, and we are looking to Michael to be an integral piece in helping craft and execute our strategic plans in the consumer space,” said CEO Lynch. “In 2010 we commissioned Bain & Company to independently evaluate the optical industry and VSP Global so we could further understand the changes in the marketplace, risks to our business model, and opportunities for VSP Global and our partners to have continued success. With Michael joining VSP, we are able to further develop our future market strategy that includes ways to win vision care clients, new channels to connect consumers with our products and services, and tools to help eyecare professionals compete with retail.”

The report that resulted from the Bain study, “Do you see what we see? The future of independent optometry,” was announced in VMail, May 23, 2012.

VSP Global’s Retail Development division joins the company’s four other divisions—VSP Vision Care, managed vision care provider with 60 million members; eyewear manufacturer, designer and distributor, Marchon Eyewear Inc.; Eyefinity, provider of practice management and patient experience technology; and VSP Optics Group, production processing, service and logistics company.