Alcon's Dwight Akerman, OD, to Retire After Distinguished 29-Year Career


Dwight Akerman, OD.

FORT WORTH, Texas—Dwight Akerman, OD, global head of professional affairs & business development, of Alcon, a division of Novartis, has decided to retire after a distinguished 29-year career with Alcon, CIBA Vision, Wesley Jessen, and Novartis Pharma. His retirement will be effective March 1, 2019. Since January 2013, Akerman has served the vision care franchise as global head, professional affairs and business development, and contributed to Alcon’s renewed focus on eyecare professional education by strengthening partnerships with key opinion leaders.

In a recent letter to associates inside the company, Andy Pawson, Alcon's president and general manager, global vision care franchise, pointed out, "Dwight was best known as a customer advocate ensuring that the voice of the customer was embedded in our products and programs. Under his functional leadership, the global professional affairs organization has grown to become a vital member of the country and regional commercial organizations."

Akerman joined Alcon from CIBA Vision as executive director of U.S. professional affairs in May 2011. Before joining Alcon, he held roles of increasing leadership with CIBA Vision, Wesley Jessen, and Novartis Pharma in medical marketing, professional affairs, clinical research and medical affairs.

Akerman earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Texas. After graduating from optometry school, he spent the first 10 years of his career as the founder and owner of a primary care multi-doctor optometric practice on Long Island, New York. Currently, Akerman serves as vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Illinois College of Optometry, the oldest and largest optometry school in the U.S. He is also a trustee of the World Optometric Foundation.

Pawson's letter cited many notable achievements in Akerman's career, including
• U.S. and global professional launch materials and programs for DAILIES TOTAL1, the world’s first and only water gradient contact lens.
• The CIBA Vision / Essilor MBA Program, widely regarded as the most comprehensive practice development program ever created for optometry.
• Global professional launch materials and programs for Air Optix Colors, the world’s first silicone hydrogel color contact lens.
• Global professional launch materials and programs for Air Optix plus HydraGlyde sphere, toric and multifocal.
• Global professional launch materials and programs for DAILIES AquaComfort Plus sphere, toric and multifocal.
• U.S. and global professional launch materials and programs for NIGHT & DAY, the world’s first silicone hydrogel contact lens approved for up to 30 nights of overnight wear.
• Global Key Option Leader (KOL) engagement strategy.
• Vision Care myopia management strategy.

Stated Pawson, "I want to thank Dwight for his many contributions to the global vision care franchise as well as his outstanding leadership of the global vision care professional affairs organization. He leaves behind a rich legacy."

Upon his retirement from Alcon, Akerman told VMAIL that he will devote time to his work as a peer-educator, author and ophthalmic industry consultant.