Oct 14, 2020

Medtronic to Wall Street: “The Strongest Product Pipeline in Company History”

Efforts to improve customer experience will accompany the company’s strongest product pipeline in history.

October 14, 2020: Medtronic already enjoys a reputation as a world-class innovator. It may be about to grow even stronger.

At today’s biennial Investor and Analyst Day, company executives outlined the most extensive pipeline of groundbreaking products in Medtronic history and how they intend to aggressively capitalize on that cutting-edge technology to win share from competitors.

“Some of the greatest advances in medical technology are unfolding right now at Medtronic,” said Chief Executive Officer Geoff Martha. “I could not be more enthusiastic about where we’re headed.”

Tech that is Winning Share, Creating New Markets

New devices to treat cardiac complications, chronic pain, brain-related disorders, urinary incontinence, and diabetes are among 130 new device approvals so far in 2020. Executives also pointed to exclusive advances in battery technology and miniaturization that offer doctors and patients better treatment choices — with smaller, less invasive devices that recharge faster and hold full capacity longer.

Several new technologies are expected to either disrupt large medical device markets or create new ones altogether, which Medtronic executives believe will strengthen the company’s financial position now and into the future. Revolutionary technologies to treat high blood pressure, screen for certain cancers, ablate heart tissue, and expand robotics and the use of artificial intelligence in the operating room are all in development or being acquired.

“Our number one priority is to accelerate growth,” said Chief Financial Officer Karen Parkhill. “We’re committed to driving double-digit total shareholder return for years to come.”

Investor and Analyst Day is a biennial event in which Medtronic outlines the company’s vision, strategy and long-range strategic plans. Thirty Medtronic executives delivered six hours of presentations and fielded questions from more than two dozen Wall Street analysts.

The analysts asked pointed questions about each of the businesses during three 45-minute Q&A sessions. Early reactions were positive. “MDT Analyst Day starts with a bang, expecting an acceleration in revenue,” wrote Matt O’Brien of Piper Sandler.

Structured to Serve the Customer

 Another key to capitalizing on the pipeline, and winning market share from competitors, will be reorganizing the 90,000-employee company in a way that makes it more nimble and able to serve customers better, Martha said. “The idea is to perform like 20 agile, $1.5 billion companies.”

The new Medtronic business model will form 20 Operating Units (OUs), each with a focus on either a narrow disease state or specialty physician type. “The OUs can maintain focus and accountability, execute faster, and make quicker decisions, while retaining the advantages of size and scale,” said Martha. Each OU will manage its own profit and loss management (P&L), devise its own go-to-market strategy, and control its own research and development (R&D). The goal: “Play small AND play big,” said Martha.

Rooted in Good Corporate Citizenship

While much of the day focused on technology and financial performance, Martha also promised investors Medtronic would continue to play an active, positive role in society. He announced the company’s intention to be carbon neutral in its operations by the end of the decade, and he outlined renewed commitments to ethnic and gender diversity in the company’s workforce and management.

“ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) is hard to build into a business model,” Martha said. “But today, more than ever, people want to be associated with companies that make the world a better place. That dedication is part of our Mission. It’s deeply rooted in our company and it will go forward with us for generations to come.”


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