President and CEO of Ulthera Inc. to Speak at Kent State’s Michael D. Solomon Speaker Series

Photo of Matthew LikensMatthew E. Likens, president and chief executive officer of Ulthera Inc., will be the keynote speaker at Kent State University’s Michael D. Solomon Speaker Series on April 22 hosted by the College of Business Administration’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation. Likens will present “From Zero to $600M and Lessons Learned Along the Way,” which will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center. The event is free and open to the public. To register, visit

Likens is an alumnus of Kent State’s College of Business Administration, graduating with a degree in business administration and a major in marketing. He began his professional career with Johnson & Johnson Corp. before Baxter International, spending more than 20 years in domestic and international sales, marketing and general management. Key positions included vice president, marketing for Baxter Biotech Europe based in Munich, Germany, from 1993-1995, president of Baxter Biotech North America from 1996-1998 and president of Baxter Renal U.S. upon his departure from the company in early 2001.

Likens entered the medical start-up world in 2001 and joined GMP Companies as president of GMP Wireless Medicine Inc., representing one of 14 licensed technologies in the GMP portfolio.

In July 2006, Likens relocated to Arizona to become president and CEO and the second employee of Ulthera Inc., a venture capital-backed start-up company in energy-based aesthetics. Beginning with European regulatory clearance in late 2008, followed by FDA clearance in September 2009, Ulthera realized a net revenue growth from $0.5 million in 2008 to almost $118 million in 2014, and has been profitable each year since 2011. After filing for an initial public offering in early 2014, Ulthera attracted interest from several larger companies, and in July of that year, was acquired by Merz Pharma GmbH for $600 million, an amount representing 6.6 times trailing 12-months’ revenue.

In 2012, the Phoenix Business Journal honored Likens by naming him one of Arizona’s Most Admired CEOs.

Likens believes that consistent operating principles and the establishment of a broader purpose for an organization are vitally important factors in motivating diverse groups of employees to become fully engaged in achieving a company’s objectives as well as one’s personal goals.

“When Michael Solomon established the Speaker Series, it was to expose Kent State students to entrepreneurs like Matt Likens,” said Deborah Spake, dean of Kent State’s College of Business Administration. “The college is pleased to bring back to campus alumni business leaders such as Matt to share their experience with the business leaders of tomorrow.”

Kent State alumnus Michael D. Solomon began his support of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation at the College of Business Administration with the inception of the speakers’ series in 2005. His goal was to expose students, faculty and the community to successful entrepreneurs. Each semester, the series brings experienced entrepreneurs and educators to Kent State’s College of Business Administration to share their insights and wisdom.

The Michael D. Solomon Speaker Series is hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation at Kent State. The four pillars of the center are social entrepreneurship, global entrepreneurship and innovation, technology commercialization and franchising. The center is designed to help business students achieve their entrepreneurial goals and expand research to meet the growing demands for entrepreneurial knowledge and opportunities. The center also connects business students with serial entrepreneurs globally.

For more information about the Michael D. Solomon Speaker Series on April 22, visit or email Kelsey Meadows at

About Kent State University’s College of Business Administration
Kent State University’s College of Business Administration is one of only 180 colleges or schools of business worldwide to achieve dual accreditation in both business and accounting from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, the global accrediting body providing specialized accreditation at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. The College of Business Administration at Kent State is home to 4,502 students, the second largest college of business in Ohio.  The college boasts a satellite office of Kent State’s Career Services Center dedicated to business students, and operates the Global Management Center, the Center for Information Systems and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation, all propelling scholarly research, establishing innovative industry partnerships and providing outreach to Northeast Ohio and beyond. For more information about Kent State’s College of Business Administration, visit

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Media Contacts:
Michelle Parrish,, 330-672-2717
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 4:41pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 11, 2019 - 4:23pm
Lindsay Miller