The Omar Ishrak era at Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) has begun with a Tweet.
“Thrilled to be leading an amazing company with such a powerful mission. Engaging with our customers and global team. A great start!” Ishrak wrote from his new personal MDT Twitter account @MedtronicCEO.
The new CEO began his first full day on the job yesterday, taking the reins of the largest pure play medical device company in the world. Ishrak, a 16-year veteran of GE’s (NYSE:GE) $12 billion health care business, was also a senior VP and a member of the conglomerate’s executive council.
Ishrak’s ascension to the top job at MDT caps an extended search for a replacement for William Hawkins, who’d planned to retire by the end of April. He recently agreed to postpone his departure for an indefinite period while Medtronic kept up the search.
Industry observers expect that Ishrak’s tenure will not be radically different than Hawkins, who championed a transformation for Medtronic into a chronic disease management company but has had his troubles with Wall Street.
At the time of the decision last month, analysts applauded the choice.
JP Morgan analyst Michael Weinstein called the resolution of the CEO search “a positive for Medtronic.”
“The question from here is what is Ishrak’s mandate? Is it same strategy, better execution? Or are there more aggressive plans for Medtronic in the months ahead? Our expectation is the former is much more likely than the latter,” Weinstein wrote in a note to investors.
Larry Biegelsen, an analyst at Wells Fargo & Co., pointed to Ishrak’s “solid track record” at GE, where the ultrasound business quadrupled and clinical systems jumped some 40 percent under his tenure.