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Merge Healthcare Chairman Steps Down, Two Weeks After CEO Leaves

August 26, 2013
by Mark Hagland
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Michael W. Ferro, Jr. leaves Merge as chairman just two weeks after Jeffery Surges resigned on Aug. 9

The Chicago-based Merge Healthcare, a leading vendor in the imaging informatics space, announced on Aug. 26 that Michael W. Ferro, Jr. had resigned as chairman of the board and as a director, effectively immediately.  The company announced that Dennis Brown would be named as the company’s new chairman, also effective immediately.

“I have decided to step down from my roles as chairman and a director of Merge Healthcare,” Ferro said in a statement. “Merge is at the heart of a large, growing and dynamic market for healthcare imaging, and as its largest shareholder, I have a lot riding on its future success. I remain very confident in the company, its products and its new leadership team, and my decision deos not reflect any disagreement with Merge’s management or board.”

The announcement of the resignation of Ferro as chairman follows closely on the heels of the announcement on Aug. 9 of the resignation of Jeffery Surges as Merge Healthcare’s CEO. “Speaking on behalf of all of Merge’s directors, I want to apologize for the company’s very disappointing second-quarter results, Ferro had said in a statement Aug. 9 in announcing the resignation of Surges.

Merge reported that its sales decreased to $57.2 million ($57.6 million on a pro forma basis)( in the second quarter of 2013, from $62.9 million ($63.4 million on a pro forma basis) in the second quarter of 2012.

On Aug. 9 at the time of the resignation of Surges, Justin Dearborn, who joined the company in 2008, was made CEO. “Merge’s value proposition continues to be very strong in three distinct market areas: imaging and interoperability, cardiology, and clinical trials,” Dearborn said in a statement on Aug. 9. “Our spending, on bringing innovative solutions to market, has outpaced our end user markets’ readiness for a variety of macroeconomic reasons currently clouding decision-making.”

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