For nearly a quarter of a century, William “Bill” Hawkins sat in the corner office of medtech companies of all sizes, before stepping down from Immucor last year to become the Atlanta-based company’s lead director.
Hawkins is best known for his 4 years as CEO of Medtronic, where he served in the corner office from 2007 to 2011. His time at the helm of the world’s largest pure-play medical device company was not without drama. For example, Hawkins’ first major decision as CEO was canceling shipment on the company’s top product, the Sprint Fidelis pacemaker lead, already implanted in some 268,000 patients.
That decision, which Hawkins has called the toughest of his career, was a telling start to a tenure that spanned the Great Recession and the medical device tax, and included a number of high-profile acquisitions that helped re-stock Medtronic’s product pipeline.
In this interview, recorded at our recent DeviceTalks Research Triangle show, Hawkins opened up to MassDevice.com Publisher Brian Johnson about the worst and best deals he ever made, trying the window if the door won’t open, and why he hopes his latest venture in regenerative medicine will help treat end-stage renal disease.