Former Congressman Erik Paulsen Named to Cardiovascular Systems’ Board
Erik Paulsen. (Creative Commons).

Former Congressman Erik Paulsen Named to Cardiovascular Systems’ Board

The Republican politician, who lost his House seat to Dean Phillips in the 2018 election, replaces a retiring member of the board of directors of the St. Paul-based medtech company.

Former U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen has a hearty new gig on the board of directors of St. Paul medical device maker Cardiovascular Systems, Inc (CSI). Paulsen replaces Scott Bartos, who is retiring after a seven-year tenure on the seven-member board of independent directors.

Paulsen joins CSI in the wake of losing his re-election bid to Democratic challenger Dean Phillips—ending a decade of Paulsen representing Minnesota’s Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Prior to becoming a Congressman, Paulsen built a 16-year career in business that included working as an analyst for Target Corporation, and serving in the Minnesota State Legislature.

He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2009, and during his tenure, which lasted until 2019, Paulsen was a key member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which held broad tax-writing jurisdiction over economic and trade policy, and healthcare.

Paulsen also served as chairman of a House-Senate collaborative panel dedicated to identifying and addressing macroeconomic trends, and as a co-chair of the bipartisan House Medical Technology Caucus.

“During his time as a member of the United States House of Representatives, Erik was a strong advocate for the medical technology industry, the life-saving technologies it provides to patients and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports,” said Scott Ward, CSI chairman, president and CEO, in a statement. “His leadership and experience in government affairs will be invaluable as CSI seeks to expand the number of patients it serves.”

Founded in 1989, CSI specializes in developing products designed to treat patients with peripheral and coronary artery disease. The company has sold more than 450,000 devices to date to health institutions worldwide.

Paulsen joins the company a year after it recorded its first-ever net profits—CSI generates well over $100 million annually in revenue but has historically reported net losses every year until fiscal year 2018, which saw a profit of $1.7 million on revenue of $217 million.

CSI has also had key leadership changes in recent years, with Ward assuming the CEO post in 2016, and a new COO, Rhonda Robb, appointed January 2018. Both are Medtronic veterans and are credited with helping turn CSI around.

Paulsen officially joined CSI Thursday. According to an SEC filing, Paulsen has also been named a member of the company’s governance/nominating committee.