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Meet Joe Kiani: The CEO Challenging Apple and Shaking Up the Tech Giant’s Holiday Sales

As the holiday season draws near, many Apple enthusiasts might find themselves unable to purchase the latest Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, all thanks to a patent dispute sparked by Masimo Corporation. At the center of this legal tussle is Joe Kiani, Masimo’s CEO, whose company’s battle with Apple over a blood oxygen tracker patent could significantly impact Apple’s sales and offerings.

Kiani, an Iranian immigrant who moved to the US at age nine, has charted an extraordinary journey from humble beginnings in Alabama to the pinnacle of healthcare technology innovation. With a background in electrical engineering, Kiani’s expertise and passion led him to found Masimo Corporation in 1989, starting in a garage with a $40,000 loan against his condo.

Driven by a dedication to improving medical technologies, particularly pulse oximeters, Kiani’s relentless work ethic transformed Masimo into a powerhouse in non-invasive patient monitoring devices. Today, Masimo boasts a market cap of around $6 billion, and its devices are used globally in hospitals, enhancing patient safety and reducing healthcare costs.

Beyond his role at Masimo, Kiani is deeply involved in healthcare advocacy. His initiatives include the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation, and Competition in Healthcare and the Patient Safety Movement Foundation & Coalition, reflecting his commitment to enhancing patient safety and healthcare accessibility worldwide. In 2021, President Joe Biden appointed Kiani to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, where he advises on science and technology policy.

Kiani’s leadership at Masimo has not only led to technological advancements but also to significant legal battles in defense of the company’s intellectual property. Masimo’s history of litigation includes multimillion-dollar settlements with Nellcor and Philips Electronics, showcasing Kiani’s determination to protect his company’s innovations.

The recent lawsuit against Apple marks another chapter in this saga, with Kiani accusing the tech giant of poaching Masimo’s talent and using its patented technology in Apple Watches. The International Trade Commission’s ruling in favor of Masimo has compelled Apple to pull certain watch models from its stores, just in time for the holiday rush.

Kiani, with a net worth of $1.3 billion and a compensation package exceeding $16 million in 2022, remains a formidable figure in the tech industry. His story is one of resilience, innovation, and fierce advocacy for ethical practices in healthcare technology. As the legal drama unfolds, Kiani’s influence continues to ripple through the tech world, reminding giants like Apple of the power of a visionary leader backed by groundbreaking technology.