Vicarious Surgical, which aims to file a submission by late 2024 seeking clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its surgical robot, said it promoted John Mazzola to chief operating officer.
Mazzola, who has 35 years of experience in the medical device industry, joined Vicarious in March 2022 as senior vice president of operations. Over the past year, he led manufacturing planning for the Vicarious Surgical robotic system, overseeing operations and quality organizations, the company said in an emailed statement on May 18.
As COO, Mazzola will add oversight of product development, clinical and regulatory affairs, IT and people and culture functions while continuing to focus on manufacturing and procurement optimization, Vicarious said.
The company said in February it would lay off 14% of its workforce to conserve cash as it prepares to file a 510(k) submission to the FDA for its robotic system that could rival Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci. Vicarious earlier this month said it remains on track to file the submission by the end of next year.
“If RBOT can operate in a leaner fashion and still make its timelines, we believe investors will come into shares,” BTIG analyst Ryan Zimmerman said in a note to clients after the company’s first-quarter earnings release.
The Waltham, Mass.-based company’s investors include Bill Gates, Vinod Khosla’s Khosla Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, Sun Hung Kai & Co. Ltd and Philip Liang’s E15 VC.
Before joining Vicarious, Mazzola spent 13 years in senior executive and product development leadership positions, including serving as vice president of operations at Becton Dickinson Surgery, where he oversaw a network of 10 manufacturing sites, a business planning and procurement organization, an advanced manufacturing engineering team and environmental health and safety.
“The newly created COO role carries great importance as we expand our near-term focus from system development toward initial manufacturing processes for our V1.0 system,” Vicarious CEO Adam Sachs said in the statement. “John’s proven leadership and deep industry knowledge in building and scaling organizational and manufacturing infrastructure and processes gives me great confidence in his ability to execute in these areas.”