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Too often we define the Medtech sector by the number of dollars raised, IPOs helped or companies sold. But the focus neglects the very foundation of the sector - the People. Join the Medtech Talk Podcast each week to hear from entrepreneurs, investors and executives who spend their days developing the tools that make sick people well and health care more efficient.

Bernie Haffey on Cutting Through to High Performance

September 22, 2021


Bernie Haffey started his career as a high school physics teacher, then decided to go to business school. He remained interested in science and technology though, so he started working in the medtech industry at Hewlett-Packard’s Medical Products Group before transferring to Mentor Corp. After rising in the ranks at Mentor, Bernie then joined Summit Technology, where he was first exposed to the concept of high-performance management systems. He learned about the importance of a clear vision (and vision statement), the value of a mission statement and how it differs from a vision, and the benefit of narrowing a multitude of initiatives down to the vital few that focus on true breakthrough opportunities. After over two decades of experience as a senior leader at Summit, Intralase, NDO Surgical, and Nexis Vision, Bernie decided to return to his roots, found a consulting firm focused on high-performance management systems, and start teaching management science. In this interview with host Geoff Pardo, Bernie shares many of the critical aspects, decision points, and challenges of high-performance management systems, including how to balance voices of the customer, shareholder, and employee; the importance of a strong operational team who can carry out a new vision; the need for effective systems in addition to brilliant staff; and many of the watchouts when leading change in an organization.


Bernie Haffey


Haffey & Co

Bernie Haffey started his professional career as a physics teacher and ice hockey coach at Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ. This early experience in teaching, science and team sports shaped much of his approach to business. Upon graduation from business school, he worked as a product manager in Hewlett-Packard’s Medical Products Group in Waltham, MA. He then moved to Mentor Corp, ascending from New England sales representative to Vice President of Sales and Marketing. From Mentor he moved to Summit Technology, Inc. where he assumed the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer through its $1 billion sale to Alcon Labs. Bernie held the same role, EVP and CCO, at Intralase Corp. through its $800 million sale to Advanced Medical Optics (now Johnson & Johnson). From there he successfully served as President and CEO of two venture-backed start-ups: NDO Surgical, Inc. and Nexis Vision. Bernie also previously served as a founding board member at WaveTec Vision, Inc. (acquired by Alcon Labs) and at Ocular Therapeutix, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCUL) and currently serves on the board of On Target Laboratories, Inc. Bernie now runs Haffey & Co., a management consulting firm that has supported more than forty organizations. Bernie earned a BA from Colgate University and an MBA from Cornell University.

Meet Our Host, Geoff Pardo

Geoff has been in medtech for over two decades in both operational and investment roles. He is passionate about the industry potential and sharing stories from the front lines of innovation.