Trimedyne, a Santa Ana maker of medical lasers, said Tuesday its president, Michael R. Henson, has resigned as president and chief executive of the company that he has led for five years.
Henson, 42, said he voluntarily tendered his resignation, effective Jan. 31, because he has achieved his goal of guiding the young company to profitability.
"I'm an entrepreneur, a start-up person," Henson said. "When a company is up and profitable and growing 100% a year, it is time to bring in the expertise of someone used to operating in that kind of environment."
Trimedyne was founded in 1981. Henson was brought in as president in 1983, and several months later was named chief executive officer.
The company said that Richard Randall, 36, now Trimedyne's executive vice president and general manager of its laser division, will serve as acting president and chief operating officer until a permanent president is elected by the board of directors.
In a prepared statement, the company said it has appointed a search committee of directors to identify possible successors to Henson.
But Henson said, "We have been grooming Rick Randall to step in and become the operational head of the company."
Before joining Trimedyne 20 months ago, Randall was a senior product manager with the Edwards catheter division of Baxter Healthcare Corp.
Henson said that since he joined Trimedyne in 1983, the company has grown "from zero" to an enterprise with 170 employees.
In the company's last fiscal year ended in September, it showed net earnings of $500,000 on $12.3 million in sales, with the vast majority of gain reaped in the fourth quarter.
Henson said Trimedyne's big breakthrough came in March when it became the first company to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration to market a laser catheter to treat arteriosclerosis in leg arteries.
Before joining Trimedyne, Henson worked for Abbott Laboratories and Bristol Meyers.