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Glidewell Laboratories Names New CEO

Glidewell Laboratories—the world’s largest privately held provider of dental lab products—is ringing in the New Year with a new CEO.

Effective Jan. 1, 15-year company veteran Stephenie Goddard took the helm as chief executive, a position held by Jim Glidewell since he founded the Newport Beach-based company in 1970.

Glidewell is retaining the president role at the company, which is Orange County’s largest dental firm by local workers with about 1,500 people. It makes an extensive suite of restorative dental implants and related products and services.

“This is not a matter of me stepping down,” Glidewell said in a statement. “But with all that we’re doing in an effort to improve the lives of dentists and their patients, I could use another hand at the helm.”

“Jim is in the office every day, sharing his vision and insights and continuing to challenge us to develop solutions that improve the quality, speed and affordability of dentistry,” Goddard said.

Glidewell’s office and manufacturing capabilities total about 500,000 square feet in the airport area of Newport Beach and Irvine. It counts nearly 4,000 employees companywide.

‘No One Better Suited’

Goddard left the World Bank Group in 2006 to join Glidewell as vice president of human resources and has since served in various executive-level positions governing business operations, product development, regulatory affairs, direct sales, customer experience, software development, analytics and more.

She said she is “particularly pleased” with the public reception of Glidewell’s AI-powered In-Office Solution, which enables clinicians to create their own BruxZir Zirconia implants in under an hour.

“People ask us why Glidewell would produce a machine that competes with its principal business of providing indirect lab services,” Goddard said about the product. “But Jim’s real business is to provide clinical ease and flexibility. Single-appointment services are often better for both the provider and patient—and anything that’s better for provider and patient is better for Glidewell.”

During Goddard’s tenure at Glidewell, she implemented a number of employee learning programs and advanced leadership initiatives, including in 2019 “Guiding Leaders,” a program designed to empower women dentists.

“Stephenie’s strategic focus and ability to bring people together to orchestrate successful change has been critical to our success,” Glidewell said. “After 15 years working alongside her, I know of no one better suited to serve the needs of our customers and our industry.”

“I’m obviously humbled by the new title, and honored by Jim’s faith and trust,” Goddard said. “While the responsibility is daunting, I’m thrilled by the continued opportunity to positively impact the future of dentistry. As we like to say here, ‘Every smile deserves a second chance.’” 

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