TLC Laser Eye Appoints Neal CEO

TLC Laser Eye Centers said Wednesday that George Neal was named CEO. Neal was previously a division VP, global sales and international mareketing with Abbott Medical Optics. TLC, which is backed by Charlesbank Capital Partners and H.I.G. Capital, provides LASIK and refractive eye care services.


TLC Laser Eye Centers, North America’s premier provider of LASIK and refractive eye care services, today announced that it has appointed George Neal to the position of Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Neal joins TLC with more than 25 years of experience in the ophthalmic industry. Most recently, he served as Division Vice President, Global Sales and International Marketing, with Santa Ana, Calif.-based Abbott Medical Optics. Prior to Abbott, he was Vice President of Corporate Development for Eyeonics; he also held positions with Alcon Labs, Inc., Allergan Optical and Procter & Gamble Co. Neal’s position returns him to the St. Louis area where he once served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Catalina Health Resource.

“George is the ideal person to lead TLC as we look to invest in the business and take advantage of the multiple growth opportunities we see on the horizon,” said Tim Palmer, Managing Director of Charlesbank Capital Partners and a member of TLC’s board of directors. “The current management team has made extraordinary strides during a challenging economic environment to position the company for such growth. We are excited about TLC’s future.”

TLC is widely recognized in the ophthalmic industry for its unique business model that focuses on building and maintaining a network of surgeons and referring optometrists. TLC currently has 55 LASIK centers and supports more than 300 eye surgeons and 5,300 optometrists.

Peter Flynn , TLC Vision’s Chief Financial and Chief Administrative Officer commented, “We have made a number of recent investments in the company to further our strategic growth plans and to solidify our position as the premium provider of refractive surgical services. I know that George is the right person at the right time to help steer TLC into a bright future.”

“I firmly believe that the best days are ahead for TLC,” said Neal. “I am excited at the prospect of leading the company and continuing to set the standard for refractive eye care services. I’m also confident TLC will lead the industry as the provider of choice for refractive technologies, premium IOL’s and cataract solutions.”

About TLC Laser Eye Centers

TLC Laser Eye Centers is North America’s premier eye care services company, providing eye doctors with the tools and technologies needed to deliver high-quality patient care. Through its centers’ management, technology, extensive optometric relationships, direct to consumer advertising and managed care contracting strength, TLC Laser Eye Centers maintains leading positions in refractive, premium IOL and cataract markets. Information about vision correction surgery can be found on the TLC website at The company is owned by Charlesbank Capital Partners and H.I.G. Capital.

About Charlesbank Capital Partners

Based in Boston and New York, Charlesbank Capital Partners is a middle-market private equity investment firm managing more than $2 billion of capital. Charlesbank focuses on management-led buyouts and growth capital financings, typically investing $50 million to $150 million per transaction in companies with enterprise values of $100 million to $750 million. The firm seeks to partner with strong management teams to build companies with sustainable competitive advantages and excellent prospects for growth. For more information, visit

About H.I.G. Capital

H.I.G. Capital is a leading global private equity investment firm with more than $7.5 billion of equity capital under management. Based in Miami, and with offices in San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston and New York in the U.S., as well as affiliate offices in London, Hamburg and Paris in Europe, H.I.G. specializes in providing capital to small- and medium-sized companies with attractive growth potential. H.I.G. invests in management-led buyouts and recapitalizations of profitable and well managed service or manufacturing businesses. H.I.G. also has extensive experience with financial restructurings and operational turnarounds. Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 200 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 50 companies with combined revenues in excess of $8 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at