Health Care

CardieX (ASX:CDX) – Craig Cooper



The CEO Mindset - Craig Cooper is Chief Executive Officer of CardieX (ASX:CDX)

Craig Cooper is Chief Executive Officer of CardieX (ASX:CDX), an ASX listed public company with operations in medical technologies, wearable devices, and telehealth solutions. We provide digital and device-based solutions for large-scale population health disorders with significant market scale. Our fundamental mission is to develop a significant and valuable healthcare ecosystem of complementary and strategic products and services in order to provide smarter tools to help identify, diagnose, and treat patients with confidence.

What’s your journey in becoming a CEO?
I’ve founded or co-founded multiple companies in the past in different sectors, most notably in energy (NRG Asia), and telecommunications (Boost Mobile USA). I’ve also been an active investor in the digital media and health-tech space through my venture capital funds which have raised over a billion US dollars. My path is a culmination of both my operating and investment experience over the last 25 years. Through my venture investments I’ve also been lucky to have an inside view of hundreds of companies (and their CEOs) and the tools and processes that have led those companies to success (or failure) and it’s that experience that underlies my own executive and management style.

In today’s world everything moves so fast so there’s no real time for “a journey in becoming a CEO”. Most CEOs in tech, for example, are the original founders, and for most of them it’s their first company at an age that 30 years ago you’d never consider appropriate for a CEO of a multibillion-dollar company. Steve Jobs was 21 when he founded Apple. Bill Gates was 16 when he founded Microsoft. Mark Zuckerberg was 19 when he started Facebook. There is no learning curve in today’s world – you sink or swim.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
We make devices and solutions for diagnosing and managing the #1 killer in the world today – cardiovascular disease. Our “XCEL”, a unique device that measures central blood pressure is the only FDA cleared device for measuring arterial stiffness and inflammation non-invasively in adults. Our technology is also the world leader in measuring central blood pressure waveforms which, in layman’s terms, allows physicians to get a complete picture of the state of a patient’s arterial health.

Our traditional focus has been on sales to pharmaceutical companies, research institutions, and specialist clinicians such as Nephrologists and Cardiologists. Our future product strategy however, is focused on taking our technology into large scale consumer markets through home and clinician devices, wearables and smart watches, and software solutions that allow clinicians to better manage their patients’ health.

Our solutions are particularly relevant in the current market given that COVID-19 is being seen more and more as a cardiovascular disease rooted in arterial inflammation. Providing consumers and clinicians with better ways to detect the COVID-19 disease is a core focus of our product development efforts.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
When COVID-19 hit we saw some initial slowdown with some of our process and manufacturing partnerships which was to be expected – but it’s now back to “business as usual” for us. We’re lucky that, being a tech firm, we can all operate remotely at full capacity and, in fact, my team seems to be working harder and more efficiently than ever before in this virtual environment. I’ve set up my company office as a kind of Zoom command center with lighting and proper cameras as well as other features to enable better inter-company communications. I’m on video calls a lot with investors and other stakeholders so it’s important to look professional. I told my team from the start, “this is not a holiday so don’t turn up on Zoom in your pyjamas!”. Although it’s hard to think that I won’t have my team around a table in person for the foreseeable future, it is what it is. The top priority for us is to keep everyone healthy so we can all get back to some level of normalcy ASAP.

For me personally, it’s definitely been tough. Everyone is struggling in their own way (well, except maybe for the founders of Netflix, Amazon, and Zoom!). I live in Orange County, California which is currently experiencing some of the highest infection and death rates in the USA. I’m also physically separated from my daughters who live in Australia so that hasn’t been easy. I stay sane by focusing on my exercise, nutrition, and maintaining my social connections as best as I can.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
The thing that gets me jumping out of bed every morning is the knowledge that we are making a massive positive impact on global health with our technology and solutions. We’re disrupting an industry that hasn’t seen any real innovation in over a hundred years and showing that there’s a better way to identify, diagnose, treat, and manage the #1 killer of humans. There couldn’t be a better mission than that.

How do you measure success?
Am I making a positive impact on humanity? It’s that simple to me.

What do you think is the most important quality of being a CEO of a listed company?
You need to be a ringmaster of multiple stakeholders. Not only do you have to run a business, which is hard enough in itself; you also need to run an entirely separate business of managing the public capital markets. When you’re private (unlisted) you’re free to build a business without the glare and oversight of your shareholders on a daily basis, which is not a luxury you have as a public company. The goal of so many companies in Australia is to list on the ASX but I would question whether 80% of them should even be there – especially if you’re a small-cap growth technology company. Companies in our sector, for example, are valued at 10-20x in the private sector in the USA with similar revenues and comparable market opportunities. I’m biased of course but I think we are the most undervalued company on the ASX today.

What is your favorite book?
I’m a voracious reader and always have a backlog of books sitting on my Kindle. At the moment I’m obsessed with The Atlantis Gene trilogy which I’m just finishing up. It’s a multi-layered time traveling exploration of the origin of humanity – set against the backdrop of a fight to control the universe and create a single species – and it spans millions of years of evolution across multiple galaxies. It’s not easy reading but it covers so many themes that I’m passionately interested in, particularly the origin of species and bio-genesis. It’s also relevant at the moment because the story on Earth revolves around a global plague that is pitting different political factions against each-other.

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia?
We’re actively looking for partnerships and collaboration opportunities in Asia. We have a corporate office and team in Shanghai that curates our licensing and other partnerships in that country and we’re actively looking to expand those partnerships beyond the Chinese market. We currently have a (yet to be announced) manufacturing partnership in China, as well as our Joint Venture with Mobvoi, Google’s in-country partner in China for the Wear OS operating system. The Oscar 2 (24-hour blood pressure monitor with our SphygmoCor technology inside) is sold in China (NMPA approved) and we’re looking for distribution partnerships for our new range of blood pressure wearables and home devices which will be FDA and NMPA cleared in 2021.

We are also looking for strategic partnerships that share our vision of reducing the impact of cardiovascular and arterial disease and lessening the rates of hypertension related disorders.

How can people connect with you?
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CEO Craig Cooper on one of his laboratories visit

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