Chris Burns

Director of Retina Innovation

Chris was appointed Director of Retina Innovation in January 2018. He has been with ZEISS for over 10 years and previously held roles as Sr. Program Manager and Director of Hardware Engineering. Chris has more than 20 years of experience in the medical device industry with expertise in both Operations and Engineering.

As the Director of Retina Innovation my Responsibility is to lead and coach a staff of PMs to develop and commercialize highly differentiated products in the field of Retina imaging. My teams have recently launched the Clarus 500 ultra-wide field fundus imager, Plex Elite 9000 swept source OCT and the Cirrus 5000 with OCT Angiography.

Learning never stops for me and I strive to share that attitude with my teams.

The R&D leadership team is derived from 60% internal promotions. My career at ZEISS began in 2008 as a Program Manager. Through a combination of internal development and ZEISS supported external education I have been able to grow through three different positions. As a leader I drive my teams to seek ongoing education and tradeshow participation.

The ZEISS product device teams are built around a cross functional matrix architecture that allows flexibility to share expertise while maintaining stable core team leadership. This structure allows small teams to develop trust and relationships while having the flexibility to engage additional team member experts. Our teams are challenged to develop complicated industry leading innovations and are rewarded with first to market features that improve the quality of life for our patients.

I work at ZEISS because I know that that our products impact people.

We changed someone’s life while showcasing our new Clarus 500 at an industry trade show. Our clinical team was performing routine scans on visitors simply to demonstrate how the product works. Our clinicians and the visitor were surprised to find that both of a subject’s optic nerves were swollen as a result of increased pressure in the brain. The finding was a clue to the subject’s persistent headaches and a sign of a more serious condition. Early detection is critical to patient outcome and ZEISS imaging is one of the industry leader.

I am driven by the desire to live up to the ZEISS brand reputation. Since I was young I have known about ZEISS quality through consumer products and microscopes. While working at other companies early in my career I was introduced to ZEISS ophthalmic devices and quickly learned of their industry leading quality and reputation. Every day I strive to maintain that quality while delivering products that improve the quality of patient’s lives.

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Research & Development USA

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