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Robert Ganley, US-born, has been Ivoclar Vivadent’s CEO for 16 years. This summer, he will pass the baton to Swiss-born Diego Gabathuler. In this interview, he reveals the secret behind Ivoclar Vivadent’s success, he talks about the new products presented at IDS and reflects on his career.
Mr Ganley, why is Ivoclar Vivadent so successful?
We deliver what the customer needs and wants: Innovation that creates opportunities and esthetics. In all that we do we focus on the needs of our customers. Dentistry can be a simple business. The most important strategic tool is “listening”. If you “connect” with your customers and ask them about their business and their challenges they will tell you the problems and even propose the solutions. You simply need to listen and then to act. We are the leaders in quality innovations for esthetic dentistry.
Which new innovations did you present at IDS 2019?
At IDS, we showcased perhaps our strongest portfolio of innovative products for dental laboratories and dental practices. I will mention the most important ones:
1. The 3s PowerCure product system: a direct restorative system that allows dentists to reduce treatment times by more than half, while still achieving the same level of quality and esthetics. Many clinicians are seeking a composite that delivers treatment efficiency and reliability. The 3s PowerCure product system is optimally coordinated for direct restorative procedures to enhance efficiency and esthetics.
2. The Bluephase G4 curing light: the first intelligent light featuring an automatic curing assistant
3. IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime: This innovative product is the Next Generation of All-Ceramics from the Leader
in All-Ceramics. Prime features a unique combination of two raw materials and the new Gradient Processing Technology. It is the first all-ceramic material with anterior esthetics that can be used anywhere in the mouth and for all indications. Prime is the high-esthetic, high-strength all-ceramic solution that the market has wished for since the launch of IPS Empress.
4. The PrograPrint 3D printing system for dental laboratories: This innovative system includes printing materials and equipment for printing, cleaning and post-curing. It extends the existing Ivoclar Digital portfolio and ideally complements the PrograMill milling machine range. High accuracy and high efficiency in a controlled system – another wish of the market fulfilled.
You will soon pass the baton to Diego Gabathuler, who will succeed you as CEO. As you look back on your 16 years atIvoclarVivadent what stands out for you about your tenure?
Looking back on what we have achieved thanks to the many dedicated employees in our company, I feel a particular sense of pride and gratitude. Ivoclar Vivadent has revolutionized the dental world in many ways. We have been a leading innovator in both material development and product marketing. We introduced “esthetics as a primary goal” to the market with the launch of the “Esthetic Revolution”. In doing so we changed material science, we changed processes and we changed the expectations of the laboratory technician, the dentist and the patient.
In your dual role as CEO of the Ivoclar Vivadent Group and Managing Director of the North American subsidiary, you commuted between the US and Liechtenstein for many years...
Yes, that’s true. Although it was demanding, I had the benefit of being in two important dental markets every week. This gave me the opportunity to be with customers and listen to customer needs all of the time. I was promoted in the same year as were the new CEOs of Sirona, Straumann and Nobel Biocare, all central European companies. Each CEO would travel 50 % of the time and each would be in the US and Europe every month. So you see my schedule was not so different.
I am often asked still today how I am able to maintain the schedule. I describe it this way – I do my best every day and I receive from my job more energy than I put in. My job energizes me! I consider myself lucky.
What are your plans for the future?
I will remain very active both on the Supervisory Board of Ivoclar Vivadent and in other positions. It is likely that I will fly less. I am confident, however, that Swiss will survive even without my weekly flights!