SpineMedica, a medical device startup that recently closed on $10.6 million in venture financing, has a new chief executive officer.

Lew Bennett, who has more than 45 years of work experience, takes over as CEO from Steve Gorlin. Gorlin remains the firm’s chairman.

“Once Lew agreed to come on board, there was no question that we wanted him leading our team,” Gorlin said in a statement.

SpineMedica is focused on developing an artificial disc implant. Among the investors is South Carolina-based Trelys Fund.

SpineMedica calls its disc implant SaluDisc. SpineMedica licensed the technology from SaluMedica and David Ku, who is a member of the company’s board. SaluMedica, which is also based in Atlanta, had developed and patented hydrogel technology.

According to SaluMedica, the SaluDisc contains water in similar proportions to human tissue and is stronger than other hydrogels such as those used for contact lenses.

Bennett has worked with a variety of firms in the orthopedic and spine fields, including NuVasive, Sofamore Danek, Smith & Nephew and Dillon Manufacturing. He also was a founder of Howmedica Corporation.

Bennett touted SpineMedica’s technology in a statement.

“Physicians I respect have said that this technology has great advantages over others coming to market,” he said. “We also have a great group of people who know how to follow through. People make the difference.”

SpineMedica: www.spinemedica.com