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The CEO As R&D Chief – An Interview With Carl Zeiss’ Michael Kaschke

Executive Summary

Given the importance of rapid and persistence technology development in medical devices, why is it that so few medtech CEOs come from R&D? Michael Kaschke, president and CEO of Carl Zeiss, is the exception that proves the rule. Kaschke joined the company in 1992 and began a steady ascent through the management ranks. In an interview, adapted from a recent session in the Innovator’s Workbench series sponsored by the BioDesign Program at Stanford University, Kaschke talks about Zeiss and its strong R&D culture, about how his own background in technology development shapes his approach to decision-making and about the challenges the company has faced in the past and the ones it faces going forward.

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