Bill Freeman has more than 35 years of experience developing, manufacturing, and marketing cataract surgery products. He has held key executive positions at four firms that produce ophthalmic surgical devices.
Bill’s career in ophthalmology began in the 1970s. As president of Cavitron Surgical Systems, he worked with Dr. Charles Kelman in developing and marketing the world’s first phacoemulsifier system. While highly controversial in the 1970s, phacoemulsification gradually became the preferred cataract removal technique in the early 1980s. For many years, Cavitron led the cataract instrumentation market.
CooperVision purchased Cavitron in 1983, and Bill joined the company as president of the surgical division. CooperVision expanded its product line to include a wide variety of cataract surgical products—IOLs, viscoelastic solutions, disposable devices, lasers, and custom packs—and became the market leader in many product categories.
In 1989, Alcon acquired CooperVision in an effort to build a strong presence in cataract surgical devices. Bill joined Alcon as general manager of the Irvine Technology Center, where a number of the company’s cataract devices, including the Legacy 20,000 phacoemulsifier and a broad line of disposable items, were designed and manufactured.
Bill remained with Alcon until 1995. He then joined Mentor Ophthalmics as president of the ophthalmology division. At Mentor, he was responsible for the acquisition of ORC IOLs and the subsequent launch of the Memory Lens foldable IOL.
After Mentor’s ophthalmology division was sold in 1999, Bill remained in Santa Barbara, where Mentor was located. He has since devoted his time to industry analysis and authoring reports. He now serves as executive vice president for Market Scope and a senior writer and editor of Market Scope’s Ophthalmic Market Perspectives newsletter.