June 25, 2015
This morning shares of Glaukos Corporation began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:GKOS). I had the great privilege of working at Glaukos from April of 2009 until January of 2015. I have had the opportunity in my career to work with some great groups of people. However, the people I worked with at Glaukos are in a class by themselves. I have never worked with such a dedicated, focused, passionate and consistently talented group of people in my life. Your success is well deserved and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your team! For those of you not familiar with Glaukos, they market the iStent (R), the first Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) device approved by FDA. The iStent is the smallest medical device approved by FDA and is indicated for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma in patients undergoing cataract surgery. Left untreated, glaucoma can result in blindness.
I know it sounds a little dramatic but Glaukos actually saved Ken’s and my lives. When ArthroCare asked me to resign at the end of 2008, they issued a press release that inaccurately described my role in what was happening at the company at that time. As a result, I was unable to get another job. I remember sitting in our wonderful house in Austin – which we were about to lose in a short sale – and frantically networking. I was looking for any kind of work. As you well know, the housing market collapsed in 2008 and of course, the vast majority of our assets were in real estate (I know, I know – diversification!). At any rate, since we were going to lose the Austin house, we had already decided to move back to California and into one of our vacation rentals in Palm Springs. We had three at the time – all of them under water and all of them producing negative cash flows.
One of my networking calls was to Steve Henderson. Steve and I had worked together at Allergan back in the 80s and again at KeraVision in the early 00s. In a twist of fate, Steve helped my get the job at ArthroCare in 2001. Steve said he was working for this great privately held company called Glaukos and the CEO happened to be a mutual friend of ours from Allergan – Tom Burns. I called Tom and gave him an update on my career and what was going on. He felt my skills and qualities might be helpful to Glaukos so he asked me to fly out to California. When I arrived, we spent several hours talking and at the end of that conversation, he offered me a full time consulting position. He knew what I could do and he knew I would give it my everything. I was ecstatic! The plan Tom had put together was nothing short of brilliant and I was thrilled to be able to play a role in its execution. But that opportunity also allowed us to get back on our feet financially. I am forever grateful to Tom, the senior management team and everyone else at Glaukos for accepting me as part of their team and in giving me the opportunity to make a contribution. You guys rock!!!!!
So heartfelt congratulations to everyone at Glaukos on one of the most successful IPOs in recent memory. Well done and well deserved!