Mr Hedge, Based on Harris' brief CV on CYTX website, he is probably a Mormon missionary to Japan (very similar to many other Mormons in China, Japan and the Far East). For the time being, he may choose to stay in Japan, because of his commitment to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Later Day Saints.
He seems to have changed quite a few jobs in the past 20 years. So would he stay at CYTX's top man in Japan for long. If he is good and makes for good commitment and great improvement to grow the sales and marketing in Japan and elsewhere, I think Harris is the man DOV was mentioning a year ago- potentially, the next CEO of the whole company with Hedrick running the R/D.
I first heard of Harris the same day you and everyone else did. I do recall posting that it was my personal opinion that Hedrick was appointed CEO to get us through a transition period, but that I thought longer term, the board would find someone with a successful history of running a business operation. So far, Hedrick and Girao and Kesten are doing a commendable job, in my opinion. However, the successes are confined to getting trials approved and up and running. There are zero success stories when it comes to actually selling the Celution system and consumables to profitable customers. I think Harris was brought on because of poor sales results in Japan following the new regen laws. At some point, his focus will turn toward manufacturing and supply chain operations to meet demand for the CTX2 and consumables.
It is hard to evaluate the progress on the CTX2 next generation system. Cytori is capable of manufacturing enough Celution systems in San Diego to meet demand (which appears to be confined to placing systems at trial sites). Lorem is buying Celution 800 systems that have some components assembled in Wales to qualify for sales to China. Hedrick has avoided updating us on manufacturing progress on either system. His focus is purely trial related.
Another shortcoming of the current management team is their inability to take the existing data and their advanced progress in Phase II and Phase III trials to Wall Street and sell the story. In fact, institutional ownership has dropped by 10% to only 9.94%. This is not a strength of Hedrick's, but I think he knows that. The hiring of Hayden and Harris demonstrates Hedrick's recognition of skills that are needed to turn the company around. The problem is that selling the story to Wall Street institutional investors is the job of the CEO and that is Hedrick's only glaring weakness. My guess is the BOD will give Hedrick a chance once he has the ACT-OA data in hand. If he can't sell strong phase II data, then the BOD should find someone who can!
Perhaps you could help with some research on Cytori's partnership with Green Hospital. It is still listed on Cytori's web site and I found this link which mentions the StemSource 900 at the bottom. Is there any evidence that this partnership is yielding any sales for Cytori. Hedrick once told me they are no longer a factor. However, they still own the stock and could become a factor or they could decide to sell all of their stock. They never fulfilled their goal of putting a cell bank in 250 hospitals in Japan by 2011. There have been a few cell banks sold in Japan over the years and perhaps by Green Hospital. Who knows! We do know Cytori has roughly 20 distributor relationships in Japan with very little being sold to any of them.
If management would anticipate a significantly further decreasing share price in the short/mid term one could assume that they would have waited with granting these options (e.g. after a reverse split with its negative consequences), no?
I don't see Harris being groomed as the next CEO.
Several factors effecting Wall St interest imho. Some sector specific some CYTX specific. I suspect we stay sub billion $ market for some time yet as institutional interest remains muted until the elusive sales ramp begins. Even a OA partnership in the parameters discussed (20 million upfront/20 million for trial) will still keep us with a sub billion market cap imho. The usual Hedgie churn continues in the mean time.
As far as the reaction time of our BOD. Still populated with people who kept CC far far too long !!!
I don't see a correlation between the option award and the PPS movement other than if Harris performs he will be rewarded (as these awards were meant to inspire) If the PPS falls BOD's just approve bigger grants.