Medtronic: More job cuts ahead in 2012

Medtronic

Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) is looking to eliminate about 700 more jobs by the end of its current fiscal year through layoffs and early retirement offers, according to regulatory documents.

The moves are part of a restructuring initiative the company announced in February to reduce its global workforce by 5 percent.

“In connection with the fiscal year 2011 initiative, as of the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, the company had identified approximately 2,100 positions for elimination to be achieved through voluntary early retirement packages offered to employees, voluntary separation, and involuntary separation,” officials wrote in regulatory documents filed with the federal Securities & Exchange Commission. “Of the 2,100 positions identified, approximately 1,400 positions have been eliminated as of July 29, 2011. The fiscal year 2011 initiative is scheduled to be substantially complete by the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012.”

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The cuts, announced last winter, are meant to “align its cost structure to current market conditions and continue to position Medtronic for long-term sustainable growth.”

“We are delivering on our pipeline to drive share in our core markets and strong growth in emerging technologies,” former chairman and CEO Bill Hawkins said in prepared remarks at the time. “At the same time, we are restructuring our business and leveraging our global infrastructure to be more in-line with market conditions, which positions us well to deliver market-leading performance.”

Company officials didn’t specify from which business units the jobs will be cut from. In May, Medtronic laid off an unspecified number of workers from its diabetes unit as part of the plan. However, no significant layoffs have been made public since.

New CEO Omar Ishrak has not tipped his hat as to whether any further job cuts will be needed as he plans to re-shape the company in his image.

Ishrak announced his plans to wring more growth from the world’s largest pure-play device maker in an internal email to employees in late August. First reported by MassDevice, the email details a restructuring of the company’s business lines around eight global regions in order to capitalize on increasing the company’s footprints in emerging markets around the globe.

And, during a conference call with investors to discuss Medtronic’s fiscal 2012 first quarter, the newly minted chief executive said his top priority is to “align management” around a singular focus.

“I’m focused on delivering crisp and efficient operations,” he said. “My top priority is to align management team around single goal of growth.”

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