John W. Morgan, the chief executive of Portland-based HemCon Medical Technologies since 2004, resigned Monday "to pursue other opportunities," the company said in a press release.
He has been replaced as CEO by Nick Hart, who has been the company's chief financial officer for the last two years.
HemCon, a privately held company that makes and sells bandages and dressings that promote coagulation and discourage infection, employs about 126 people in Portland, Ireland and the Czech Republic. The company doesn't disclose revenues.
The company's dressings are derived from chitosan, a component of shrimp shells. They have been widely used by the U.S. military and, the company says, are responsible for saving at least 100 lives. For the last several years, the company has pushed aggressively into civilian markets.
A federal jury in New Hampshire last spring awarded a $29.4 million judgment to HemCon rival Marine Polymer Technologies, which makes a biocompatible dressing made from algae and claimed HemCon had violated its patent. HemCon appealed that award and has been permitted to continue selling its products while the case proceeds.
HemCon Chairman William P. Wiesmann said Monday that the change was "a natural progression," as Morgan sought bigger challenges.
Wiesmann said annual sales had fallen off from a high of more than $72 million several years ago, but that he expects the company to be profitable again by the fourth quarter of this year.