Austin-based healthcare investment firm Spindletop Capital announced yesterday in a press release that the company has made two major changes to its executive staff, promoting both Steve Whitlock and Bob McDonald to the position of Managing Director. Mr. Whitlock and Dr. McDonald have have played a crucial role in the successful launch of Spindletop Capital since the company’s inception in 2011. Dr. Evan Melrose, Managing Director at Spindletop Capital, noted that, “Steve and Bob have been valued members of the Spindletop team both in identifying attractive investments and partnering with our CEOs and our portfolio companies since our founding,” and adding on a personal note, “For much of the last decade I’ve been fortunate to have worked closely with both Steve and Bob through various roles. Well recognized as industry leaders, Steve and Bob have significant operating and technical expertise that will create substantial value for current and future portfolio companies.”
Together, the two executives offer expertise and skill sets that are uniquely optimized for Spindletop’s business objectives. Prior to his role at the company, Mr. Whitlock spent over twenty years working in the orthopedics industry, and was also a co-founder of Path4 Ventures and an Operating Venture Partner with PTV Sciences. Throughout his time working in venture capital, he has worked toward co-founding LDR Spine USA, (now part of LDR Holdings) and has been at the center of launching a diverse array of emerging medical device and diagnostic companies. His career in biotech began with Centerpulse Orthopedics (formerly Sulzer Orthopedics) and worked at the executive level in managing Research and Development, New Business Development and Global Products in the areas of total joints, sports medicine, trauma and orthobiologics. During his tenure at Centerpulse, he was part of the executive team that managed to turn the company around from disaster after one of the largest product recalls in the history of the medical device industry. Mr. Whitlock’s successful role in the turnaround eventually led to the company being acquired by Zimmer in 2003 for $3.2 billion. On his own, he has proven experience in researching, developing, and commercializing new technologies for the U.S. orthopedic market, and holds 5 issued patents and several pending patents. It is also worth noting that Mr. Whitlock is a product of the Texas educational system, having earned his B.S. in Engineering from Texas A&M University, going on to earn an MBA from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Dr. McDonald, an MD, also completed a large portion of his education in Texas, having earned his MD degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and then going on to receive his MBA from the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. From there, he completed his residency in internal medicine between the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical School/Parkland Hospital and Washington University – St. Louis and completed his fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Washington University – St. Louis. Just as his educational experience has straddled both medicine and business, so too does Dr. McDonald’s work in the biotech industry highlight his unique and versatile educational background. He has worked as a physician, executive, and physician leader with extensive healthcare operating experience for thirty years, managing to hold different executive, academic, and MD roles simultaneously. According to the company’s press release, currently, Dr. McDonald serves as President and Founder of Aledo Consulting, Inc., a consulting firm focused on the strategy and reimbursement concerns facing life science and health service companies. In addition, he has also worked as Course Director and faculty member of the MD/MBA Leadership Forum at Indiana University for the past eleven years, and was appointed Adjunct Full Professor within the Business of Medicine MBA program at the Kelley School of Business.
Dr. McDonald “is also the Kelley School of Business Director of Physician Executive Coaching. Prior to these roles, he served in a variety of senior medical and operations positions at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (WellPoint) and its predecessor company, The Associated Group, including Medical Director of Medical Policy, Medical Director of Anthem Prescription Management and Medical Director of Health Care Management, Anthem Inc. At Anthem, he was involved in the growth of the Anthem prescription benefit business which was ultimately sold for $4.7 billion. Prior to Anthem, he served for three years at Eli Lilly and Company as a Health Economics Research Physician performing cost effectiveness analyses both as part of developmental trials and on site at health plans across the United States. He has served on the Boards of FAST Biomedical and ImmuneWorks.”
In their new, expanded executive roles at Spindletop, the company is no doubt better positioned to deliver success to the companies that are part of their investment portfolio.