Glen Tullman's wearable tech startup hires a new CEO
Livongo Health, which is tackling chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure with wearables, took a big step toward its goal of growing into a public company by hiring veteran healthcare technology executive Zane Burke as CEO.
Burke, 53, recently stepped down as president of Cerner Corp., a publicly traded health IT company.
He'll take over day-to-day operations from Glen Tullman, who becomes executive chairman of the company, which has operations in Chicago and Silicon Valley. The company also promoted Dr. Jennifer Schneider from chief medical officer to president, where she'll oversee product, data science, software engineering, marketing and clinical operations.
"I'd taken (the job at Cerner) as far as I could," Burke said when asked why he took the new gig. "I've known Glen since we competed with each other" when Tullman was CEO of medical-records software maker Allscripts.
Cerner is the nation's second-largest maker of medical-records software used by hospitals and doctors' offices. It was a reseller of Livongo's product, which used a cellular-enabled glucometer to help people with diabetes better manage the disease. The Kansas City, Mo.-based company also used Livongo for its own 28,000 employees.
Tullman has grown Livongo into a company valued at $800 million, raising another $105 million in August. Investors include heavyweights Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, General Catalyst, Microsoft Corp. and Sapphire Ventures, the venture fund spinout of software giant SAP.
Healthcare technology is a hot sector, and Tullman has made no secret of his plans to take the company public, possibly early next year. Livongo expanded from diabetes to high blood pressure, and it has begun building more data analytics into its product offering. But the main thrust of the business is helping companies save money by helping employees with chronic conditions stay on top of their healthcare through the use of simple technology that can keep them out of the hospital.
Tullman, whose son has lived with diabetes since age 8, is a passionate frontman. But what gets investors' attention is his ability to sign up customers. Livongo landed more than 500 of them, mostly large self-insured companies such as FedEx, Amazon, Lowe's, Target and Delta, along with four of the country's seven largest insurers.
Burke, meanwhile, helped Cerner grow into a public company with $5 billion in sales and 28,000 workers from a startup with $150 million in sales and fewer than 1,000 employees in 1996. "That's almost exactly where Livongo is at today," he said.
More recently, he helped oversee Cerner's $16 billion deal to replace the Veterans Affairs Department's homegrown electronic health record system.
"I have experience working with the Street, and I how to create a predictable organization," Burke said. "This is not a fixer-upper. I wanted something that was going to impact the consumer. The more I got to know the team, it had all the right pieces. We're growing: the questions are how big, how fast and how to make that sustainable."
This story first appeared in Crain's Chicago Business.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.