Interview: Medtronic CEO Ishrak on the road ahead

January 8, 2013 by Brad Perriello

Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak reviews his first full year at the helm of the medical device company for and outlines his goals for 2013.


When last spoke with Omar Ishrak, the CEO of the world's largest pure-play medical device company, he detailed a trio of goals for Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) designed to remake the company after his own image: Better execution, optimized innovation and a larger share of the global medtech business.

When we sat down with Ishrak this morning at the J.P. Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco, there was little outward difference. But Medtronic has undergone substantial internal change on his watch, he explained, as his initiatives have aligned the company's goals.

In a wide-ranging chat that covered the 1st 18 months of his time in the corner office, the climate for medtech investment, the FDA and the medical device tax, Ishrak said Medtronic has made a lot of progress, but stressed that there's still a lot more to be done. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation.

Sign up to get our free newsletters delivered straight to your inbox At last year's conference, you outlined 3 priorities for 2012: Improving execution, optimizing innovation and accelerating the spread of your global footprint. You also stressed the importance of moving with speed and agility. How would you rate your progress in executing toward those goals during the past year?