The countdown has begun

The countdown has begun

Yesterday with a great deal of fanfare and anticipation the Chicago Cubs finally introduced their new President of baseball operations Theo Epstein.  This news was well received by Cubs fans who have suffered through a century of not winning a World Series.  The reason for all this optimism is the resume Mr. Epstein brings with him, two World Series Championships for a previously cursed franchise, the Boston Red Sox.  While Cub fans are known for being overly optimistic every year, this feeling is reaching new not previously seen before and that’s saying something.

While Mr. Epstein is being touted as the savior of the franchise, some have noted that while his resume is very impressive and there is no question he brings with him a wealth of talent, the situation in Chicago is dramatically different from when he took the reins in Boston. Back then Boston was coming off a 96 win season and had an impressive lineup of players. While it’s true that Mr. Epstein provided the missing pieces that took the Red Sox over the hump, it’s also true that the Cubbies who are coming of yet another losing season do not have the talent level Boston had. It’s also true the Cubbies have a host of issues that won’t be easy to solve no matter who’s in charge.

All that aside, it’s understandable as to why hope reins eternal on the north side of Chicago as at long last there is hope.

The same situation could soon be happening in the diabetes space as we are just weeks away from an event that could forever change the diabetes marketplace as the non-compete agreement signed by Ron Zwanziger will expire and he will once again be able to play in a market he knows very well. Looking at his current company Alere (NYSE:ALR) Mr. Zwanziger once again has the platform to wreak havoc in the space.

For those new to diabetes or unfamiliar with Mr. Zwanziger, he holds a special place in diabetes device history as he sold not one but two glucose monitoring companies making millions along the way. Well back in 1996 he sold MediSense to Abbott (NYSE:ABT) for nearly $900 million and then repeated this feet selling Inverness Medical to Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) in 2001 for $1.3 Billion. The Inverness deal will forever place Mr. Zwanziger in the Diabetic Investor Hall of Fame as it was a true gem of deal as he basically had JNJ by the short hairs and made them pay through the nose.

However what truly makes Mr. Zwanziger special is his realistic view of the diabetes marketplace, this is one guy who gets it and gets it in a big way. Not one to embrace pie on the sky technologies or unrealistic systems that make nothing more than a great PowerPoint presentation, he understands that there is real person with diabetes who must actually use this technology and these people want systems that are not just easy to use but have an impact on their lives.

While it’s true that the diabetes marketplace has changed dramatically since he last toiled in the field, no one can dispute his talent level. And from our perspective here at Diabetic Investor his reentry into the market can’t happen soon enough as it will bring a much needed breath of fresh air into what is becoming a rather dull business. Just how he will reentry is anyone’s guess but based on what he’s assembled at Alere, Diabetic Investor suspects he’ll use a combination of acquisition and innovation. Based on his history it’s doubtful that he would do anything small or incremental; more than likely he’ll enter the deep end of the pool and make a very large splash which will send shock waves throughout the industry.

The countdown has begun so tighten your seat belts and get ready for takeoff; this should be one heck of a ride.