This week in Pedersen’s POV, our senior editor chides BioSig Technologies for what she sees as an embarrassing PR blunder.

Amanda Pedersen

February 26, 2024

3 Min Read
Graphic featuring the headshot of MD+DI Senior Editor Amanda Pedersen and a pull quote from her opinion column, Pedersen's POV.

Let's face it, there's no good way to make a layoff announcement. But the corporate world is, unfortunately, littered with examples of how not to do it.

The latest case in point comes from BioSig Technologies.

Best known for its Pure EP device, designed to provide real-time signal visualization during cardiac ablation procedures, BioSig issued a poorly written one-sentence press release last week that got our editorial team's attention.

The company said it has "terminated a significant number of its employees and expects to substantially reduce business operations."

Editor-in-Chief Omar Ford pointed out that the poorly written announcement implies the company "terminated" the employees themselves rather than the positions.

Managing Editor Katie Hobbins characterized it best, however, noting that the release pretty much says, "Fired a bunch of people, peace out!"

Indeed, the vague press release would have been laughable had it pertained to anything else. But, as we all know, there's nothing funny about people losing their jobs.

To me, the announcement reeks of callousness, at least on the surface. Sadly, I am under the impression there simply wasn't anyone left at BioSig Technologies who had the necessary PR training to handle the announcement with an ounce of tact.

Related:BioSig Cuts a Substantial Number of Positions

Compare this Feb. 20 press release to the one BioSig issued about a month earlier, on Jan. 30. In the earlier release, the company announced "a workforce reduction, intended to reduce annual cash burn by 50%," and went on to explain that the company was also shifting its business model and seeking to partner with organizations for sales distribution and clinical support of the Pure EP platform.

The Jan. 30 release also included a tactful quote from Ken Londoner, the company's CEO and chairman. "BioSig is at an important juncture, and we are taking steps to streamline our corporate structure. We are grateful to those employees who are affected by the impact of these changes. Their hard work and dedication were integral to bringing the Pure EP platform to where it is today."

At that time, the company also mentioned it was working to expand its latest software release featuring near-field tracking (NFT) with the Pure EP device.

Fred Hrkac, who joined BioSig last November as executive vice president, is also quoted in the Jan. 30 release. According to a Feb. 21 SEC filing, however, Hrkac resigned Feb. 20, the same day as the most recent layoff announcement, along with James Klein, another director.

Hrkac and Klein's resignations followed the resignations of CFO Steve Buhaly on Feb. 15 and directors David Weild IV, Donald Foley, Patrick Gallagher, and James Barry on Feb. 19. According to the BioSig Technologies SEC filing Feb. 21, 2024, none of these recent resignations were the result of any disagreement relating to the company's operations, policies, or practices.

Related:A Verily Bad Communication Decision

It's never easy to see a promising medtech company struggle to keep the lights on, as appears to be the case at BioSig Technologies. And I concede again that there's no good way to announce layoffs. I can only assume (as calls to BioSig last week were not returned) that the company's communication team was among the "significant number of employees" impacted by the latest round of layoffs. I can't imagine any PR professional signing off on such a vague and tactless press release as the one BioSig issued last week.

About the Author(s)

Amanda Pedersen

Amanda Pedersen is a veteran journalist and award-winning columnist with a passion for helping medical device professionals connect the dots between the medtech news of the day and the bigger picture. She has been covering the medtech industry since 2006.

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