Medtronic Emergency Response Systems Selects Ken Olson to Lead Research and Development

Life Science Partner recruits research and development pioneer in the external defibrillator field

Life Science Partner announces the recruitment of Ken Olson, as vice president for research and development of Redwood-based Medtronic Emergency Response Systems. In this role, Olson will lead the team of 140 developing Medtronic’s lifesaving LIFEPAK defibrillator/monitors and automated external defibrillators (AEDs).  An innovator in the field, Medtronic ERS is on the forefront of integrating information technology and AED devices to advance the performance and benefits for improved patient survival.

Olson is well-positioned to lead this team, as he developed many of the industry’s innovations at Survivalink Corporation and its successor, Cardiac Science.  .  During these 13 years, he led small and large teams to pioneer AED development with specifications of reduced cost, increasing reliability and functionality, and well-defined, customer-focused benefits.  Olson joins Medtronic from Masimo Corporation, the leading oximeter company,  where he was vice president of the OEM business.

“Ken is a home run,” noted Tom Callaway, MD, founder and president of Life Science Partner.  “He is the acknowledged scientific and developmental leader in the field.  Most importantly, however, is that he’s an excellent manager and communicator – working effectively with other leaders, customers and investors to produce market-leading innovation.”

At Survivalink Olson co-founded the company with two partners with the concept of developing an AED for police and first-responders.  Working originally in their basement, the entrepreneurs produced the first AED that became a standard for simple use and reliability.  The company was sold to Cardiac Science in 2001, and Olson continued to lead as chief technology officer, building an increasing interface with customers.  With the company’s sale to Quinton, he joined Masimo.  At Medtronic, Olson will now lead the AED R&D team in the world’s leading medical device company.

Olson is a graduate University of Minnesota, with a BS in Electrical Engineering.  He earned his MBA at the Carlson School of Management.

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