Skip to Content

Inogen CEO sees ‘room for improvement’

Inogen CEO sees ‘room for improvement’

Kevin SmithGOLETA, Calif. – Inogen CEO Kevin Smith has spent his first few months on the job “observing and reflecting” on the company’s business model and has begun to make changes to return it to “sustained profitability.” 

Smith, who came onboard in November, told investors during a Feb. 27 conference call that Inogen is no longer working with a third party for sales reps for its prescriber channel. The company began scaling its prescriber channel in the first quarter of 2022 under former CEO Nabil Shabshab, significantly increasing the number of sales reps dedicated to the channel. 

“We’re bringing those sales reps in house,” he said. “We’re restructuring how that looks a little bit for us to be able to have more control – tactical control, strategic control – over that sales channel going forward. We are right sizing that. I’m not going to comment right now on the numbers (of sales reps), specifically, but it’s important for us to become profitable and control expenses.” 

In early February, Inogen also rolled out updates for its connected app and service portals to provide better patient monitoring and user experience. The updates include the ability to connect to wearable diagnostic devices, to track patient breaths per minute and to push notifications for errors and maintenance.  

Controlling expenses by reducing spend and cost of goods sold is one of three areas of focus for Inogen in the coming quarters, Smith said. The other two: Getting approval for Physio-Assist’s Simeox tech-enabled airway clearance device, which it acquired in 2023 for $32 million, in the United States; and reducing friction among its different channels. 

“I’ve seen more positives than negatives,” he said. “We have a good team in place and an existing product that is top of the line, but we do see a lot of room for improvement withing our sales strategy.” 

When asked if a recent decision by Philips Respironics to exit the home oxygen therapy market provided an opportunity for Inogen to gain market share, Smith said “there is a shift in dynamics there.” 

“We believe that there’s going to be opportunities for us and we’re putting ourselves in positions to be able to take advantage as they present themselves,” he said. “But it’s not a light switch. This isn’t a windfall. This is something that is going to present itself over time. We’re focused on those opportunities.” 


To comment on this post, please log in to your account or set up an account now.