Apple is a formidable opponent. That hasn’t stopped this CEO from suing the tech giant

On this episode of Fortune’s Leadership Next podcast, Michal Lev-Ram talks to Joe Kiani, founder, chairman and CEO of Masimo, a medical devices company, about the massive challenges he’s facing: his company’s patent infringement suit against Apple and a proxy battle being waged by Masimo shareholders who are agitating for a change in management.

Why did Kiani decide to take on the tech giant in court? He says that Apple recruited Masimo’s CTO as well as 25 other employees and then infringed “our IP…and a lot of our trade secrets are now at Apple.” Kiani adds: “Given that we were going forward with our consumer plan, we didn’t want to be competing with our own technology.”

Lev-Ram and Kiani also discuss how AI will change health care, leading during challenging time, and the CEO’s own origin story which includes starting college when he was just 15. “My math was really good,” says Kiani. Co-host Alan Murray was off this week.

Note about this week’s episode: Apple continues to deny Masimo’s IP claims. Additionally, Apple defended its standards for suppliers, telling Fortune it conducted thousands of assessments and audits last year to ensure healthy labor practices. Apple disputes Kiani’s characterization of its App Store commissions.

Listen to the episode or read the transcript below.


Michal Lev-Ram: Welcome to Leadership Next, the podcast about the changing world of business leadership. I’m Michal Lev-Ram.

Today I am flying solo. Alan Murray could not make it, my co-host, but on today’s episode, really fascinating conversation. I talked to Joe Kiani. He’s the founder and CEO of a company you may not have heard about, but it’s called Masimo, and it’s a medical device company. More specifically, they make patient monitoring devices. And while it’s been a relatively quiet company, a little bit under the radar unless you’re in that industry, they made a lot of noise more recently because they went up against a much, much bigger corporation, Apple, in a patent infringement case, which has been pretty complicated.

But Kiani has got a lot of other complications on his hands internally as well. There has been a proxy battle waged by some shareholders who are agitating for change at the company and change in its management. And this has really been a tumultuous period. He’s the founder of the company as well. So, he’s been running it for quite a long time, for several decades. He really kind of bet the company on this legal battle with Apple. And yet he seems pretty calm, as you’ll see in the conversation.

I was really struck by how openly he spoke about both the Apple controversy and legal battle and, of course, the proxy battle that he’s dealing with internally, because a lot of CEOs do not want to talk about these topics—but a lot of them are dealing with this. And he’s got some strong feelings about both, as calm as he is. So without further ado, here is my conversation with Joe Kiani, the CEO of Masimo.

[Music plays. Interview begins.]

Joe, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. I want to start out by just having you tell us a little bit about the company, about Masimo, and just why you started it and what you guys do.

Joe Kiani: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be on your program, Michal. I started Masimo in 1989 in my condominium that had an attached garage, so I guess it was a real garage startup. I had just gotten my Masters in the area of adaptive filters and AI signal processing. And before starting Masimo, I had a consulting job where I was working for another company to make a low cost pulse oximeter. At the time, pulse oximeters were several thousand dollars. They wanted $100 ones.

Lev-Ram: And Joe, I’m stopping you for a second because for those who don’t know, what is a pulse oximeter?

Kiani: A pulse oximeter is the non-invasive measurement of arterial blood, oxygen saturation and pulse rate. It uses the physics of Beer-Lambert law to shine light through the tissue. With the light that comes through or gets reflected, we can tell based on the absorption of light, those particular frequencies, if you’re highly oxygenated or your oxygen is dropping. So it looks at changes of color and blood. It’s become pretty popular during COVID because, as you remember, one of the signs of COVID was they called hypoxemia, where someone could be at 92 percent where they normally should be about 90 to 100 percent. Yeah, it’s ubiquitous in hospitals.

Lev-Ram: Great. Okay. And back to the origin story.

Kiani: While I was trying to develop this cheap pulse oximeter for them, I realized what I moved with the probe on my finger, my oxygen saturation would go from a 98 to 100 percent, 70 or 60 percent. And I knew my physiology hadn’t changed. It was just a slow motion of my hand, and I have low perfusion of cold hands so that really exacerbated the problem. Or maybe if I had warm hands I would’ve never noticed the problem. But I set out to solve that problem. I knew about a class of filters known as adaptive filters that could figure out what frequencies to let in and what frequencies to block, kind of like your noise canceling headphones. And I thought I could use that to get rid of this end band noise where my motion was the same bandwidth as the signal we were looking for.

Lev-Ram: Okay.

Kiani: So that’s the beginning. I took a $40,000 loan on my condominium, and then friends and family invested another $80,000 several months later. And with that we created Masimo. Today we’re a publicly-traded company with nearly $2 billion in revenue and about 10,000 employees.

Lev-Ram: And tell me about how the product itself or the products have evolved over time.

Kiani: Well, when we started, I didn’t realize the industry had tried to solve this problem but couldn’t. They thought it was just inherent limitation in the pulse oximetry that the motion would cause errors. Up until then, also, even though pulse oximeters were becoming ubiquitous in hospitals, they were fraught with false alarms. It was being reported that 70 to 90 percent of the alarms are false due to motion artifact and low perfusion and large studies like one that was done in the Netherlands with 10,000 patients with, 10,000 patients without a pulse oximetry showed no difference in outcomes.

So when you ask what has become of this, by solving this problem we really turned it into a clinically-useful tool to the point that not only has it been proven to reduce retinopathy of prematurity in neonates—about 12 percent of babies in the neonatal ICUs were getting severe eye damage [and] in the U.S. alone, 2,000 babies were going blind—that’s virtually eliminated now. Great technology. Secondly, newborns that were being sent home sometimes with critical congenital heart defect, about 0.8 percent of the time, we now can detect that with the accuracy we have with our pulse oximeters by looking at pre-ductal post-ductal difference, and if it’s more than 3 percent, we know something’s wrong with the heart.

And most maybe something I did predict, I didn’t predict solving these two problems when I started Masimo, I did hope once we solved the problem we could help save lives of patients on opioids because a lot of people were getting opioids to reduce their pain in the hospital. But when the nurse would come back to check in on them, they were found dead in bed. And when they try to put pulse oximetry on these patients, the false alarm rates were so high they couldn’t deal with it. But because we got rid of the false alarms, a ten-year study has just come out from Dartmouth-Hitchcock that showed the group that we were on, no more dead in bed, no more brain damage versus the group without our technology there were people who died of opioid overdose. But they also saved $7 million a year by reducing patients being transferred back into the ICU and rapid response team activation. So, our technology has had a real impact, a real clinical outcome. And today over 200 million people are monitored with our technology every year. So it’s really making a huge difference worldwide.

Lev-Ram: Are you selling into hospitals, medical centers exclusively or is there a consumer angle here, too?

Kiani: We had been selling exclusively to hospitals, but a few years ago we began selling it into the home when COVID occurred. We were working on a project called Opioid Halo, which would help people at home detect opioid overdose, whether it was for illicit use or prescription use. But, so, it was a device that was a wearable. It would connect to your smartphone, it would go to the cloud, would alert your family or friends, and if they wouldn’t respond, it would alert the ambulance nearest you with your location to come rescue you. That product, by the way, just got FDA approval last year, in the last year. But during COVID, we went to the FDA saying we could use this to let hospitals send patients home with COVID that did not need ICU care and bring them only when they need ICU care. And they cleared that product within a week. We tested at the two major institutions. Once we fine-tuned it, we put it out hundreds of hospitals deployed it. They showed it reduced mortality by 70 percent and reduced the cost per patient by 11,000. So, yeah, so that became our kind of a way to get to consumers and since then we’ve developed this product, the W1, which is a wearable that does the same thing on your wrist, continuous SpO2, continuous pulse rate, and even hydration index. And we just got FDA clearance for that in the last year too.

Lev-Ram: Okay. So since we’ve segued into consumer wearables, I’m going to ask you the Apple question, or I have a few questions, I should say. You have this very calm disposition, but I know your company, you and your company have come up against some pretty significant challenges. And I want to hear again, a little bit of an origin story of just the legal battle with Apple and how that started. Take us back if you don’t mind.

Kiani: Sure. When Steve Jobs died, I remember picking up his biography and I couldn’t put it down. I got enamored with and I even saw how he criticized how his monitors at the Memphis hospital were so bad and how he wanted to do something about it. Right around that time, we introduced a product called iSpO2, which was the first pulse oximeter for the smartphones. A few months later, we got a call from Apple saying, Hey, we want to meet with you. You guys are the platinum of non-invasive monitoring and we’ll sign an NDA. Come tell us everything. We want to work with you. So I was excited. I really wanted to work with Apple and I went there personally with a couple of my team members and spent half a day with them. The meeting went really well and I thought we’re going to work together. But unfortunately a few months later I learned that they’re trying to recruit my team. I got a call from my chief medical officer saying, Joe, I’m sorry, I’m leaving to go to Apple. I couldn’t refuse it. They gave me, he said I think, $5 million in RSUs, doubled my salary, doubled my bonus. This is my retirement. I got to go. But he assured me, no, we’re not looking at doing pulse oximetry. We want to work with Masimo still. This should actually bring us closer. Well, it didn’t stop there, unfortunately. I want to fast forward a bit. They ended up taking 25 of my team members, our CTO. And you know, the rule is in California is you can’t assume they’re going to do something bad. You have to wait till they do it before you can do something about it. And you can’t rely on what is called inevitable disclosure. And this friend of mine who went to Apple kept assuring me that we’re not working on pulse ox. No one cares about pulse oximetry, so don’t worry about it.

Well, fast forward to 2019, I saw six patents issued to Apple, all on pulse oximetry, all with our chief technical officer that used to work for our sister company, Willow Cercacor. And one of the disclosures, well all of them were on our stuff. One of them was a trade secret, it wasn’t even something we had patented. So at that point we decided to sue them for trade secret and later patent infringement. And during the trial, the trade secret trial, ended up at a hung jury, which we get to retry end of this year, I learned the other side of the story.

So, Apple in 2012 decided to make the watch. They thought the most important feature of the watch was pulse oximetry. They tried to do it themselves. They couldn’t. This was all in their own internal document. They created a project called Rover to see who in the world knows pulse oximetry. About 50 companies were identified and individuals and in that document they said there are two standout companies, Masimo and Cercacor, both run by the same guy, Joe Kiani. And then they began saying all nice things about Joe is the Steve Jobs of the health care industry. He’s not hirable, but he’d be the right guy to run our health care business. We should buy his company just to get him, let alone the cash flow, let alone everything else that comes with that. So they go to Tim Cook and they recommend they buy Masimo. Tim Cook says, No, that’s not how we do things. Go do, what is it called? Smart recruitment or I forget what is the terminology he used. So they created a project called Everest to try to get my team to try see if they can do a JV with us. And then when they got our CTO, they decided they don’t need us anymore. And then they created a new project under Steve Hotelling to recruit every engineer, every director at Masimo. Fortunately, not everybody was for paid for, but about 25 people did go. So here we have a situation that not only I’ve got infringement of our IP, but it’s done by my team at Apple, and a lot of our trade secrets are now at Apple. So we, fortunately the, I can’t say it’s a happy ending because we’re not done done yet, but we got a win, a major win at the ITC. Apple’s watches with pulse oximetry were enjoined in the US and they’re appealing it. I don’t think they’re going to win the appeal. We have a really strong case but we’re waiting for that That’s probably about a year away. But there’s still couple of trials left to go and hopefully we’ll ultimately get our justice.

Lev-Ram: So I’m curious, you know, we’ve obviously seen some other pretty high-profile cases of slightly smaller companies going up against Apple. More on the, you know, the App Store side and some of what we’ve seen there. It can’t be a decision that you make lightly to go against such a humongous and beloved company. Talk us through kind of the process of why you made this decision or was it just a no brainer? You saw that there was, you know, in your words, infringement and you had to act.

Kiani: Yeah, it really was a no brainer. We’re an innovation company. We didn’t get to become who we are by just having great stores or great distribution. It’s all about our intellectual property and what we bring out. Given that we were going forward with our consumer plan, we didn’t want to be competing with our own technology. And Apple’s had, like you said, one of the most formidable companies in the world and I think less beloved now but yeah, quite beloved. I used to love the company, too.

Lev-Ram: I’m guessing your affiliation has changed a little bit. Yeah.

Kiani: Yeah. Let’s just say I don’t buy Apple products anymore and better, better off. I love my Android phone and Dell computers or whatever, but. But I got to tell you, there is an issue with Apple. Apple, unfortunately, doesn’t just do this to Masimo, as you said they do to a lot of companies. In fact, there’s a term for it I think in Silicon Valley, they call it Sherlocking. It was based on a company, I think, that was called Watson. They saw it, they liked it, and they Sherlocked it by creating their own version. But this happens over and over again. When Apple likes something, they just take it. They think no one’s going to touch them. But that greed isn’t just there with taking people’s IP, it’s where they manufacture the product, the conditions under which the people that work for Apple in China are treated where they have to put safety nets outside their buildings so people can’t successfully commit suicide. So instead of improving the work conditions, they put a safety net out there. And you’ve seen the Apple Store, the App Store, how it went from 5 percent commission to 30 percent commission, the DOJ case, where they mess up other people’s products so they can sell more of theirs. So it’s just a I think, a systemic problem and I hope eventually the board of Apple wakes up and says we can’t continue running this way. This is not sustainable. And they give leadership the direction to take different, act different.

Lev-Ram: Well, and to just to be fair, we have seen similar suits and issues with other large tech companies. So just, you know, wanted to put that out there. But I want to ask you…

Kiani: They’re in a bad neighborhood. I get it.

Lev-Ram: I, look, there are different outcomes to some of these lawsuits, obviously. But there are we’re seeing quite a few of that more and more, right?

Kiani: Yeah.

Lev-Ram: And it’s not an entirely new phenomenon either. It just seems like there’s a lot more happening faster now, which actually is probably partly because innovation is happening so fast and you have to move so fast to keep up with it, especially these larger tech companies. So I want to ask you, what is it like today? I mean, I’m assuming that there’s been a lot of progress, including the kind of emergence of more and more AI built into some of these products. What do you see as the most exciting advances that are going to impact your world today? What are you currently working on?

Kiani: Look, AI has been around for many years. I studied it while I was in college and but it’s become very useful for a multitude of reasons. One, the ubiquity of video cameras and sensors, the high processing power of some of these chips that allow you to do things in real time. So yeah, I think the world of AI, we began deploying it about 15 years ago in a product called Halo, where we collect all the data on each patient from the vital signs, the electronic medical records data, labs, imaging, and we try to help clinicians figure out where the patient is now and where they’re likely to go. Are they likely to be getting sepsis? Are they likely to be having heart failure [or] opioid overdose? So I think AI we’re just at the beginning of it really helping assist humanity in making better decisions and living hopefully better lives. So that’s definitely one of them.

The other part I think that’s really helping this whole internet age where you’ve got gigabits per second speed at homes now. I remember when I was in hotels at 19.2 kilobits per second modems trying to connect and how hard it was. Now you have at homes, people are all on Wi-Fi and if that’s not working, it switches to cell. So that seamless and continuous stream of connectivity allows people now to not just be where the technology is, they can be wherever they are and the technology can be where they are. And we’re excited. We think the 22nd-century health care doesn’t have to wait 100 years. I think it could be here the next few years or people can get better care at home, stay home longer, come back home sooner. Yeah, so it’s an exciting time.

Lev-Ram: So tell us a little bit more about you and kind of your journey pre-Masimo because you have such an interesting story and in some ways, you know, just quintessential immigrant American dream story. So, your own origin story.

Kiani: Wow. I was born in Shiraz, Iran. That’s the city of poetry and wine. You wouldn’t know it these days with the mullahs running the place.

Lev-Ram: Not a lot of wine flowing these days.

Kiani: Not a lot of wine. I have heard behind the scenes there’s a lot of wine flowing. It’s like the abolition time in Iran right now. There’s more partying inside than before. But I got to tell you, I left the country that I loved. It was painful to come to the U.S. It took me months to get used to it. I came here knowing three words. I was nine years old. I came with my dad, mom, and left my friends behind. But six months later I was really into this place and loving it. We lived in Alabama. You know, we came as a middle class family, but we lived really poor life in Alabama and the U.S., I guess student family. We lived in the projects for a while. But everything was just shiny and beautiful to me. The woods, the creeks. In ’77, my parents moved to California. And what a what a change that was. People in Alabama were amazing. They literally threw us a party when we, the city in the city hall when we arrived there.

Lev-Ram: Wow.

Kiani: Yeah. They held special classes after school to help teach us English, and they invited my mom to come if she wanted to. She did to learn English. So kind, beautiful people. But most people there had not left that town their entire life, 60-mile radius was the extent of it. Housing was like $25,000 here. And then cut to California everyone’s like everywhere, and the housing is off the charts. Proposition 13.

Anyway, I, I went to high school in eventually California, had a wonderful time in a little town called El Cajon. I went to San Diego State University. I began there at age 15.

Lev-Ram: Age 15? Wow.

Kiani: Yeah, yeah. My math was really good. I came, so I kind of cheated. I came at fifth grade, but my math was almost like a senior-level math, so that helped me skip two or three grades. And I began college at 15 and became an electrical engineer. Got my masters. Then you heard the beginning when I started Masimo in 1989.

Lev-Ram: So I want to ask you, what’s your philosophy been on and your strategy for innovating from within and also making acquisitions and partnerships? How would you characterize that?

Kiani: Well, I think, you know, we don’t have a monopoly on great ideas, so we are always looking for other people with great technologies, great ideas that we can hopefully bring in to our team. We’ve done probably like, before the large acquisition we did, we probably have done about 10, 11 acquisitions of technologies that we thought were going to be helpful to where we’re going and they’ve all been really successful. The fundamental technologies, most of them have come from within, and that’s because we think the really hard problems are the right problems to solve and a lot of people leave those hard problems alone. And yeah, so I guess we can say we’ve done a bit of a hybrid. But SET pulse oximetry that we talked about, rainbow pulse co-oximetry, hospital automation, telehealth, it’s all been done internally, but we brought other pieces of technologies like there’s one I’m really excited about, a company we acquired, called Nura had this adaptive acoustic technology that we want to use to make hearing aids and better ways to let people who have lost some of their hearing listen to music. That’s a company we acquired.

Lev-Ram: So this is separate from Sound United, right? Separate acquisition.

Kiani: Yes.

Lev-Ram: Okay. So tell me and I know there’s again, going back to some of the challenges and there’s this ongoing proxy battle now which we can get into. I’m sure you love this topic. But tell me first about the acquisition, because it’s a really interesting one for you guys. I mean, audio in general, which you just talked about, I think would surprise some people. But how did the acquisition come about for Sound United?

Kiani: Well, we’ve been working on our wearables and the hearables for many, many years, maybe 15 years as it was emerging, ready to come out. We tried to create our own team, president of consumer business, sales force, and it was daunting, slow. And finally, one of our board members, Julie Shimer, she said, Joe, if you really are serious about these products, you’re going to have to acquire a company that’s already in the consumer space. It’s a different world. And she had run Motorola’s cell phone business and had been also the health care running, Welch Allyn’s health care business. So, I thought she was right and we began looking at many companies in the consumer space.

We ended up buying Sound United because it had not only some of the features we were looking for, a team that had a focus on sales and marketing to consumers, about three or 400 people. An engineering team that was really good at audio. We were getting into the hearables, so we wanted that. But they also had relationships across the world with retailers in the consumer space like Best Buy, and we said, okay, those really are what we need as we get ready to launch this product we call Freedom, our hearable devices like the one I’m wearing. But they also brought things that I wasn’t looking for, but I was really excited about that, something called HEOS. And as we were getting into the home, I loved HEOS because they had like 4 million speakers and AVRs that had Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that then we could turn into health hubs. So as you’re walking through your home, you don’t have to be next to one hub you bought from us or your cell phone. Each room you went to, you could connect to and send your data to our medical cloud. So those were the reasons we acquired them and we ended up buying them for about one time revenue with positive cash flow. It was non-dilutive from day one and we love some of the products they had. There were iconic brands, high-end brands that we thought would sustain for maybe a century if needed to.

Lev-Ram: So, your shareholders weren’t as enthusiastic about this acquisition. Did that catch you by surprise? What did you make of it?

Kiani: It did. It did, because I’m not new to this. We’re celebrating our 35th anniversary, and it’s not the first time I’ve took on a giant and we beat them and we won. So I believed my track record would put them at ease that I haven’t lost my mind. There’s a new large opportunity. We’re going to go from a $10 billion TAM total available market to a $150 billion TAM, and with good reasons why we should be a major player in those spaces. Continuous monitoring. Why do people buy these wearables? Most of the time they’re buying it for the health sensing, and there’s about a third of the population that buy these smartwatches that have chronic illnesses.

So I thought once we explained where we’re going and I knew we’re going to consumer space and they understood why we bought it, they would appreciate it. Unfortunately. Yeah, you’re right. They did not. I think I learned the hard way that while we have some shareholders that may have been with us for a decade, they make that decision on an annual basis. It’s not like they decide they’re going to be in it for ten years. If it keeps raising, the price goes up on the stock 10 or 15 percent a year, they’re happy and they keep staying in their stock. They didn’t want to take a step back to jump ten steps forward. So I think there’s a mismatch. I run Masimo as though it’s going to be around another 100 years and I need to figure out how to make sure it’s there a 100 years from now. And I think our investors invest in Masimo thinking about the year ahead. And that kind of took them, I think, out of that mode because they knew there would be some investment period before we would come out with great results.

Lev-Ram: Would it be maybe this is an obvious question, but would it be easier making this kind of move if you were a privately held company today?

Kiani: Yeah. Yes. Well, let’s just say I started to learn the perils of being a public company, and I unfortunately can’t go back on that. But we did just recently announce that we’re going to separate the consumer business, not just the audio Sound United, but the hearables, the wearables, all the consumer stuff that we want to get into into a new company. And that either will be a spin, which will be a public company again, which has its own problems, but at least people know what it’s trying to do and they can’t say they’re surprised by where it’s going. Or we’re talking to one entity where we might do a JV, where Masimo shareholders make all 19 percent of bid so they have a ticket to hopefully, if it becomes really big, there’s something there for them, but we don’t have to consolidated in our financials, so they don’t have to worry about it being a drag on our financials on the health care side. And that might be a good path too. So we’re looking at our options and hopefully the next several months we’ll have a new way of doing things.

Lev-Ram: I think we alluded to this before, but you’re involved currently in a, there’s a proxy battle brewing sort of as a result from this acquisition. I mean, do you regret making the acquisition or do you still think it was the right move? You know, again, like you said, with a kind of long-term vision for the company?

Kiani: No, I don’t regret it. Despite all of the problems, headaches that has brought me, I would have regretted had I not tried to do this. This is the right thing to do. Literally it’s going to make people’s lives better. It’s going to help people live longer, live healthier lives, and I think whether it’s part of the new split business or it was part of Masimo, it could turn Masimo from a 10, $20 billion market cap company to hundreds of billions dollars and market cap. But it requires patience. It requires a long-term view. No, I don’t regret it. I wish I had the support of our shareholders. I think I’d earned it. Many of them do support it. Many of them thanked me for it. Because it’s easy once you become a market leader to just kind of go golfing and have fun. It’s harder to work as though you’re a startup still, so not everyone didn’t like it, a lot of them did, but unfortunately there’s a few large shareholders that own big pieces of Masimo that don’t like it, and that looks, that makes it look like the majority of people don’t like it.

Lev-Ram: So obviously you are not the only CEO who’s dealing with a proxy battle. You’re not the only CEO who’s dealing with, you know, an infringement case and some of the legal challenges that you’ve had there. How do you as a leader and this is, this company is you know, it’s your baby, right? How do you think that these challenges have changed you as a leader? And how do you keep not only grounded but also constantly evolving because you are in, you know, a space that’s so where there is so much innovation happening, you’re leading so much of it. How are you doing that in the midst of these challenges?

Kiani: That’s a really good question. Last year during the proxy battle, I got so enamored in that process that I took my eyes off running Masimo. I let other people do it, great people, but they didn’t have the benefit of my eyes on it. And, you know, we had a couple of hiccups, and I don’t want to do that again. So one thing for sure, going forward, my job isn’t to win the proxy battle. My job is to run Masimo while I’m its CEO, its chairman, and the shareholders can decide what they want to do. So I’m going to do that differently. It has made me become more, I think more spiritual is the wrong word, but I’ve kind of looked into myself of why am I doing what I’m doing? What am I really here to do? And realize, you know what? As beautiful, this Masimo headquarters is, as amazing as everything I’ve built today is, at the end of the day, I’m a man with a mission. I’m a man with passion. And I want to do what I want to do. But if I can’t do it, you know, there’s other things. I’m not defined by what I created over the last 35 years.

Lev-Ram: So you mentioned that as much as Masimo is a part of you, it doesn’t completely define you. What else does and what do you see ahead for you?

Kiani: Well, first of all, I think we’re all so fortunate to be surrounded by nature. I mean what a blessing. All these creatures, animals, birds, everything is. And to to recognize the small things around us, it really is important. But probably the biggest part of my life is my wife and my children. I’ve been married 25 years, almost. I’ve got three children, two daughters, 23, 22, and a son who’s 14. And I’m like, I’m a very boring guy. I’ve got two sides of my life work and them. Work and them. And so that’s it. And nature. I love nature. I love hiking, I love looking at flowers and and the bees and the birds. Yeah.

Lev-Ram: Well, given everything that is on your plate, I would not say you’re a boring guy. But, Joe, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been a really, really fascinating conversation. So thank you.

Kiani: Thanks for having me.

Murray: Leadership Next is edited by Nicole Vergalla.

Lev-Ram: Our executive producer is Chris Joslin.

Murray:Our theme is by Jason Snell.

Lev-Ram: Leadership Next is a production of Fortune Media.

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