Remembering celebrated optics inventor

Bernard Maitenaz, the inventor of the Varilux progressive lens that redefined an entire industry and continues to improve the lives of millions of presbyopes globally, has passed away in his home city of Paris, aged 94.


Maitenaz’s passion for optics, unwavering faith in its future and valuable contributions have made him one of the most iconic figures in the optical industry, said Paul du Saillant, CEO Essilor International. “The entire Essilor family is truly saddened by the loss of our honorary chairman, friend and colleague, Bernard Maitenaz. A true pioneer and inventor at heart, Bernard will also be remembered for the values with which he led Essilor between 1981 and 1991, and which he promoted within Valoptec (governing body of Essilor Group) throughout his more than 70-year career. Without him and the invention of the Varilux progressive lens, the optical industry and Essilor would not be what they are today.”


Maitenaz was also closely involved with Silmo, as a panel member and on the Scientific Council, said Amélie Morel, chairwoman of Silmo Paris. “Lively and open-minded, a pioneer and a visionary, Bernard Maitenaz was always eager to share his knowledge, speak with colleagues, and take an enthusiastic view of the future. The whole Silmo team pays tribute to this great man.”


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