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Barry G. Caldwell Named Chief Executive Officer of STAAR Surgical

David Bailey Becomes President of International Operations

MONROVIA, Calif., Nov. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STAAR Surgical Company (Nasdaq: STAA), a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of minimally invasive ophthalmic products, today announced that Barry G. Caldwell, (57) has been named President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Caldwell, elected to STAAR's Board of Directors at the annual shareholder's meeting in May 2007, replaces David Bailey, (51). Mr. Bailey has been named President of STAAR Surgical International Operations and will be based at the Company's international headquarters in Nidau, Switzerland. Mr. Caldwell and Mr. Bailey will continue to serve as members of the STAAR Board of Directors through their respective current terms. As Mr. Caldwell is now an inside director, the Board is actively recruiting additional Board members.

"The expansion of our management leadership team should allow STAAR to focus fully on the strategic initiatives designed to enhance shareholder returns," said Don Bailey, Chairman of the Board of Directors of STAAR Surgical. "Barry brings more than 30 years of general management, sales and corporate business development experience in the ophthalmic industry. He has a successful track record for launching new technologies and achieving organic growth in mature markets through the implementation of innovative new product development and marketing plans."

"At the same time, we are very fortunate to have Dave's international market expertise and we fully expect him to continue to build on the successes he's already achieved as he transitions to his new, key role," continued Don Bailey. "During his tenure as Chief Executive Officer David turned our first faltering efforts in the refractive arena in Europe into our flagship international business, and has succeeded in removing several key legacy challenges that the Company faced for several years. Now, Dave will focus on closing by the end of the year our buyout of the Canon Staar joint venture, successfully integrating that acquisition, and managing the continued high growth of our international operations. Barry will address our other main priorities of developing our U.S. refractive business and stabilizing our U.S. cataract sales. The Board believes that the talents of both executives provide us with the needed execution focus for both our domestic and international markets. Additionally, Barry, Dave and I have elected to earn a significant portion of our 2008 compensation in the form of stock versus cash, further aligning STAAR's leadership interests with those of shareholders," Don Bailey concluded.

"This evolution of leadership at STAAR Surgical will allow me to concentrate on enhancing the strong growth in our international markets and the closing and integration of our recently announced acquisition of the Canon Staar joint venture into our operations," said David Bailey. "During the past few weeks, as a member of our board, Barry and I have worked closely together to analyze our U.S. business unit and he believes, as I do, that with a highly focused team we can build domestic growth over the long term. I'm delighted to be working with Barry and believe that he has the unique skill set required to return our U.S. operations to growth. We now have the opportunity to gain global market share."

Mr. Caldwell comes to STAAR Surgical after serving until October 2007 as President, CEO and a member of the Board of Directors at IRIDEX Corporation (Nasdaq: IRIX). During his two-year tenure at IRIDEX, he led the Company's efforts to generate growth from its core operations and grew direct ophthalmic sales by more than 20%. Prior to joining IRIDEX, Mr. Caldwell served in various leadership capacities with Alcon Laboratories, Inc., a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of ophthalmology products. His executive positions included Vice President and General Manager of Alcon's U.S. Surgical Division, Vice President of Alcon Corporate Business Development and Governmental Affairs and Vice President of Alcon Canada. During his executive tenure in the U.S. Surgical Division, Mr. Caldwell was responsible for managing all functional areas including surgical instrumentation, intraocular lenses and disposable devices used in cataract, refractive and vitreoretinal procedures.

Prior to Alcon's acquisition of CooperVision in 1989, Mr. Caldwell served in several leadership positions with CooperVision and Cavitron. He previously served on the Boards of Directors for Tekia, Inc., and Laser Diagnostic Technologies, now a part of Carl Zeiss Meditech. Mr. Caldwell has also served on the Boards of Directors for three medical device industry groups including AdvaMed and is a former member of the Kentucky State Legislature, where he served three consecutive terms in the State's House of Representatives. Mr. Caldwell has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and English from Georgetown College, and a Juris Doctorate from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University.

"I am excited about the potential of STAAR Surgical," said Mr. Caldwell. "I believe STAAR has some of the most innovative products in the ophthalmic device industry. I have been very impressed by the Visian(TM) ICL technology and believe it will grow to play a key role in the refractive surgeon's practice. STAAR's products are based on proprietary technology and enhance the refractive surgeon's practice while providing unmatched patient outcomes. As a member of the Board, during the past few weeks, I've been working with Dave and the management team here to carefully examine our approach to the U.S. market and believe that we can return our domestic sales to growth over time with the proper resources, focus and execution. The majority of my time over the next several months will be focused on fine tuning the strategy to generate domestic growth while reducing our cash burn rate. I look forward to working with Dave and the entire team as we work to enhance revenue growth, achieve profitability and grow the returns for our shareholders."

Conference Call

The Company will host a conference call and webcast on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time to introduce Mr. Caldwell to shareholders and the investment community. The dial-in number for the conference call is 800-257-7063 for domestic participants and 303-262-2140 for international participants.

A taped replay of the conference call will also be available beginning approximately one hour after the call's conclusion and will remain available for seven days. This replay can be accessed by dialing 800-405-2236 for domestic callers and 303-590-3000 for international callers, both using passcode 11103650#. To access the live webcast of the call, go to STAAR Surgical's website at An archived webcast will also be available at

About STAAR Surgical

STAAR Surgical is a leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of minimally invasive ophthalmic products employing proprietary technologies. STAAR's products are used by ophthalmic surgeons and include the Visian ICL, a tiny, flexible lens implanted to correct refractive errors, as well as innovative products designed to improve patient outcomes for cataracts and glaucoma. Manufactured in Switzerland by STAAR, the ICL is approved by the FDA for use in treating myopia, has received CE Marking and is sold in more than 40 countries. More than 85,000 ICLs have been sold worldwide. More information is available at

Safe Harbor

All statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, including any statements of expectations regarding sales or financial performance, statements of expectations regarding the results of a change in chief executive officer, any statements of the plans, strategies, and objectives of management for future operations, any statements regarding expectations for success of the ICL or other products in U.S. or international markets, any statements concerning the success of initiatives to restructure the U.S. sales force, pending transactions including our agreement to purchase the interests of all other shareholders of Canon Staar, the availability of financing , proposed new products, including the Toric ICL, and government approval of such products or services, any statements regarding future economic conditions or performance, statements of belief and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. These statements are based on expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties include the potential disruption that could result from the change in chief executive officer, the perception of our customers and employees regarding this change, our limited capital resources and limited access to financing, the challenge of restructuring our largely independent marketing model and developing a direct sales targeted at the refractive market, our ability to address FDA concerns over the clinical study for the Toric ICL and to overcome negative publicity resulting from warning letters and other correspondence from the FDA Office of Compliance, the challenge of managing foreign subsidiaries, the willingness of surgeons and patients to adopt a new product and procedure, and other factors beyond our control, including those detailed from time to time in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Our planned acquisition of the other shareholders' interests in Canon Staar is subject to numerous risks including contractual conditions to closing that may not be satisfied, our ability to successfully integrate the Canon Staar business or employees into its overall business and our limited access to information. STAAR assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or actual outcomes and does not intend to do so.

CONTACT: Investors Media

EVC Group EVC Group

Douglas Sherk, 415-896-6820 Jen Saunders, 646-201-5431

Jennifer Beugelmans, 646-201-5447

SOURCE STAAR Surgical Company
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