Santa Rosa medical technology maker TriVascular has appointed a new chief executive officer as its co-founder steps into a different role.

Christopher G. Chavez, who led the neuromodulation division at St. Jude Medical for the past five years, will assume the post immediately, TriVascular said.

He succeeds TriVascular co-founder and CEO Michael Chobotov, who will stay with the company as chief technology officer and director.

TriVascular's Ovation Abdominal Stent Graft has been approved for sale in Europe since January 2011 and won regulatory approval last November for limited use in the United States. It is designed to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms, a potentially deadly medical condition that affects about 2 million U.S. patients a year.

Chavez joined St. Jude in 2005 when it acquired Advance Neuromodulation Systems, where he was CEO and president.