Leader In The Spotlight: Greg Roche CEO Distalmotion


Liz Moyles

I caught up with Greg a couple of months after he took over the reins at Distalmotion, as CEO.  Despite having only been in the role briefly, Greg had made some key decisions not least partnering with Proximie to extend the reach of the Dexter surgical robot platform to be globally.

Since taking up reins, Greg’s feet have barely touched the ground. You only need to check the posts to see he and the team are at many key events including SAGES, and LSI USA24. 

Greg was sitting at his desk, briefly, and was beaming as he spoke to me about the experience of stepping into the role of CEO at Distalmotion. 


Here’s what he had to say: 

  • Greg, congratulations on your recent appointment as CEO Distalmotion.  Massive kudos to you.  You probably know by now, I always like to ask - how did you end up in MedTech – was it a childhood dream, because I heard it was something to do with your dislike of Organic Chemistry!!!! Is that right? 

    Ha!  I think Organic Chemistry convinced me that a law degree was the right way to go.  The Law Degree truly made a huge impact on my career- from M&A, to Contracting, and Human Resources, I find it can always be applied in day-to-day business.


  • So, once you left academia, having majored in Law and Sociology what did you do next? Was it everything you had imagined life after studies would be?

    Following law school, I opted not to pursue practicing law and instead transitioned into the Telecommunications sector. Although I might be giving my age away here, this was the time when the internet was emerging as the primary conduit for business data transport. It was a competitive sector and new. I was selling a very ‘novel concept’ so it wasn’t easy- many people doubted this would take hold! However, I learned many skills not least resilience but also sales and marketing, particularly in the domain of cutting-edge technology.


  • It wasn’t long after before you found yourself in your ‘happy space’ in Sales.  I know you transitioned to working within Sales in Stryker.  Reflecting on this - how does the Sales environment of today differ to the space you entered? 

    The Medical Device environment has become significantly more complex. When I initially entered the market, the surgeon often held sole decision-making authority. However, today's landscape demands consideration of a myriad of stakeholders. This includes administrators, C-suite, finance, supply chain personnel, as well as physicians and nurses, all playing integral roles in the decision-making process. Additionally, understanding the financial mechanisms, such as leasing options, for customers to acquire equipment, is crucial. You need to delight a customer both clinically and financially.


  • After many years at Stryker, you moved to Zimmer and quickly became a Vice President Sales. What were your biggest learnings in the transition to VP and then ultimately to President?

    The significance of maintaining a stable and predictable business through an integrated strategy cannot be overstated. It's vital to offer products and solutions that truly address the needs of your customers. And although it is not a learning from this transition, it serves as a powerful reminder that PEOPLE are the cornerstone of any successful enterprise. The best laid plans will never come to fruition without a focus on talent and culture across the organization.


  • I couldn’t agree with you more. Attracting and retaining talent and having a solid culture is essential. So, what are you most proud about regarding your team at Distalmotion and the culture and technology? 

    The team, the DEXTER robot, and my ability to be a part of such an incredible culture focused on people, innovation, and making a difference for all the surgeons and patients we serve. Helping them to be better and offering patients an even better experience.


  • Robotics wasn’t always as well received as it is now, so what did you think when Robotics was mentioned to you as an opportunity at Zimmer? What reactions did you encounter when engaging with KOLs and institutions about robotics? 

    First, I was thrilled to be a part of the ROSA launch.  With any change and advancement in technology, discussions with KOL’s were focused on how to drive meaningful change through technology and drive more consistent outcomes.  Our conversations not only revolved around robotics but also the insightful data it provided during surgeries. These tools are often conduits for new information allowing surgeons to make new or deeper insights during surgery.


  • What is the most constructive piece of feedback you have ever received from a KOL or from a mentor?

    I've been incredibly fortunate to have worked under some remarkable leaders throughout my career. Each of them has offered invaluable feedback that has greatly contributed to my professional growth and development over the years. More generally, feedback itself is a blessing.  Without the humility to accept constructive feedback, you will not have the ability to learn and grow.


  • What about you ……. What advice would you give to someone who's looking to enter this space, whether that's a fresh graduate straight out of university, or someone looking to transition their career?

    This industry provides someone the ability to get up every day and make a difference for patients around the world.  No matter what your role, that remains true.  Although not every moment has been easy, I can truly say I love what I do. Finding a career which is challenging and as rewarding as medical device and surgical robotics is an absolute blessing.


  • I am so pleased Greg that you are in a great place and enjoying life and your carer. Just before we wrap up, nothing to do with work, but what do you love doing to relax and what song would get you on the dance floor or singing on karaoke?

    I love to spend time with my wife and 3 children, to play an early round of golf on the weekend, exercise whenever the schedule allows, and to travel to the beach.   Although I would not recommend anyone attending a dance or karaoke session where I am performing, anything by Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs or Chris Stapelton would work to get me singing.  I’ll leave the dancing to the experts.


Thanks Greg- next  time we meet I will bring the karaoke system and some of those tunes along - that would make the team at Distalmotion chuckle …. or cry??? 

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