|Vic Gundotra, AliveCor CEO|
AliveCor has been an early winner in the quest for digital consumer health devices. Its FDA-cleared ECG monitor that wirelessly connects to smart devices has been used to record more than 4 million ECGs since it was first green-lighted by the agency in December 2012. Now, the startup is aiming to begin its consumer expansion efforts in earnest with the addition of a new CEO--former Google executive Vic Gundotra.
At Google, now Alphabet ($GOOG), he was an SVP from 2011 until April 2014 and he specifically headed up the company's social initiatives. He first joined Google in 2007 as VP of engineering where he was responsible for mobile application development, management and marketing. Prior to that, Gundotra was with Microsoft ($MSFT) for 15 years and was recognized on MIT's annual list of innovators under 35 for his work there.
That consumer-oriented, social media, mobile tech and programming background should all serve him well in his new CEO spot at AliveCor. As of October, the company reported more than 20,000 regular users of its moble ECG device. It's already introduced a few new iterations of the device, as well as a trio of major upgrades for the associated app. This year alone, AliveCor expanded its sales into 9 new countries.
"AliveCor checked off three things that I personally care about. I have a passion for personal computing, smaller wearables or tech that attaches to a smartphone. We are just at the beginning of the trend to take control of your own health with these devices. It combines data with devices and machine learning," he told FierceMedicalDevices in an interview. Gundotra added, "I also have a family history of cardiac issues. I saw my father have two heart attacks."
AliveCor founder and CMO Dr. David Albert remains in that position. He has founded three startups since he left GE in 2004, where he had been Chief Scientist of GE ($GE) Cardiology.
The new CEO appointment opens up questions about AliveCor as a potential acquisition target or IPO candidate. Given the background of its executives, heavy hitters Google and GE seem obvious potential sources of a potential partnership or acquisition. But Gundotra said an exit is the last thing on his mind--right now he's focused continued product development and expansion.
"There's very nice growth with AliveCor; I will help with that strategic direction. There are so many things we could be doing—what could we do next?" he queried. "I want to continue to work with the team on machine learning."
AliveCor last disclosed a venture financing in June 2012 with a $10.5 million Series B round that was earmarked to fund commercialization; investors included Burrill & Company, Khosla Ventures and mobile strategic corporate player Qualcomm.
Gundotra takes over as AliveCor CEO immediately, with interim CEO Euan Thomson stepping down. Thomson has held the position since August 2013 and during his tenure expanded FDA and CE mark clearances and launched three new software algorithms, including one that detects atrial fibrillation in an ECG.
Summed up the outgoing CEO in a statement on Gundotra's appointment, he "brings years of experience spanning consumer and technology products that will be of great value as AliveCor works to expand and diversify into different business models."
- here is the announcement
Special Report: FierceMedicalDevices' 2014 Fierce 15 - AliveCor