Name: Kevin Thornal
New title: CEO and President of Nevro
Previous title: Group president of global diagnostic solutions for Hologic
After four years leading Nevro, CEO D. Keith Grossman announced his intention to retire this year once a new chief executive had been found. Now that the company has named a successor, Grossman plans to retire on April 24, and will become Nevro’s executive chairman.
Thornal will join the spinal cord stimulation company from Hologic, where he led its global diagnostic solutions business, which brought in $2.9 billion in revenue last year.
Thornal has been with Hologic since 2014, and was promoted to the diagnostic solutions business in 2019, where during the pandemic, he helped launch three molecular COVID-19 tests and managed multiple acquisitions.
“Throughout his career, Kevin has established an excellent track record of leading medical technology businesses that deliver strong growth and commercial excellence,” Grossman said in a statement.
Analysts with William Blair wrote that the appointment ends a four-month CEO search, bringing an executive with “an impressive résumé and strong Street credibility” that should help Nevro.
“Our initial impression of Thornal’s background — combined with positive feedback from some who know of Thornal from his time at Hologic — suggests he can be a strong leader as Nevro looks to capitalize on tailwinds like improving market trends, continued momentum in [painful diabetic neuropathy], and a new product launch, while navigating headwinds like reimbursement and competition,” analysts Brandon Vazquez and Justin Lin wrote in a research note late Wednesday. “Further, we believe Thornal’s experience at larger medical device companies could be valuable for Nevro as it looks to more efficiently/profitably grow the company.”
Early financial results
Nevro also announced preliminary first quarter results late Wednesday. The company reported $96.3 million in revenue, a 10% increase year-over-year. Sales of its devices to treat painful diabetic neuropathy made up about $15.6 million of the total, a 160% increase year-over-year.
The company reaffirmed its 2023 revenue forecast of $445 million to $455 million. It also expects adjusted EBITDA of a loss of $5 million to $10 million.
J.P. Morgan analyst Robbie Marcus wrote the results were a “modest step” above the company’s expectations, but investors might have expected more, given Nevro’s conservative forecast and strong results from Abbott’s neuromodulation business earlier Wednesday.
Marcus added that Thornal brings “a significant amount of experience,” but “with continued challenges to the company’s core market and a lot to prove before investors can buy back into the story, we believe it’s prudent to remain on the sidelines until we see definitive proof of better execution.”
Shares of Nevro fell 16%, or $6.23, to $33.07 in morning trading Thursday.