June 2, 2021
In this interview, Bob White, executive vice President and president of Medtronic’s Medical Surgical Portfolio, explains the importance of corporate culture. He also shares his “Big 5” list of qualities he likes to see in potential hires.
Over the past year, Medtronic has navigated the pandemic, welcomed a new leader, and shifted our organizational structure, all while still driving our business. We are also enhancing our culture. When culture and strategy connect — we win. Our strategy defines what we do. Our Mission is why we do what we do. The Medtronic Mindset helps us become intentional in how we show up.
During the interview, White explains that Medtronic must: act boldly, compete to win, move with speed and decisiveness, foster belonging, and deliver results … the right way. This is the Medtronic Mindset. The Medtronic Mindset – our enhanced culture - shapes the kind of culture we want — and each person at Medtronic can play a role in bringing it to life.
Tom Salemi (00:00):
Hey, everyone, this is Tom Salemi of DeviceTalks. Welcome to our newest member of the DeviceTalks podcast family, it's called MedtronicTalks. Our constant search to find new ways to bring you insights in the medtech industry led us to the fine, fine folks of Medtronic. They've agreed to make their senior leaders available to us and to you.
Tom Salemi (00:20):
In each episode, we'll discuss the opportunities and challenges facing one of medtech's clear leaders so you'll have an inside view on what makes Medtronic go. We'll ask the questions, Medtronic will provide the answers and our great network of sponsors makes it all possible. So sit back, pop on a treadmill, take the dog for a walk, whatever you do when you listen to a great podcast and let's listen to how Medtronic is getting the job done. Let's go.
Tom Salemi (00:43):
Hey, everyone, this is Tom Salemi of DeviceTalks. Welcome back to the MedtronicTalks podcast. It's great to have you here. Our guest today is Bob White. Bob is an executive vice-president at Medtronic and he's also president of the company's Medical Surgical portfolio. We have lots to talk about, of course, with the Medical Surgical portfolio business, but we also talked about Bob's "Big Five." What does he look for when he's hiring folks for Medtronic?
Tom Salemi (01:10):
And we talked a bit about Medtronic's culture, specifically, how Bob, who had been at Covidien, when it was acquired by Medtronic, work together to help combine the two cultures which ultimately proved to be quite compatible. It's a very interesting conversation with Bob about culture, about how to bring two schools of thoughts together, so I know you'll enjoy this conversation. But first it's time to hear from our sponsor of this episode, Foster.
Tom Salemi (01:38):
All right, folks, I'm here with Larry Acquarulo, the CEO of Foster. Larry, tell us a bit about your company.
Larry Acquarulo (01:44):
We're Foster Corporation and we've been around for 32 years. We are a design developer, manufacturer, distributor of custom polymers for the medical device industry, specifically, minimally invasive surgical devices. Our entire organization is structured to support the special needs of companies like Medtronic, on the cutting edge of new technologies as it relates to patient care.
Tom Salemi (02:14):
We'll hear more from Larry Acquarulo later in this podcast. For more information, go to fostercomp.com. That's foster C-O-M-P.com. Well, Bob White, welcome to the podcast.
Bob White (02:29):
Thanks, Tom. Good to be here.
Tom Salemi (02:30):
So you've had a great career in medtech and I can't wait to pick your brain and get some of the lessons learned through some really unique experiences. But one thing I'd love to just find out is how did you find your way into the medtech industry?
Bob White (02:44):
That's a great question. So it seems now like a hundred years ago, I started with IBM and at the time, IBM was just starting to verticalize. So it was this intersection of technology and healthcare, and that began the journey and that just for the rest of almost now, it's 30 years, it's been at that intersection of technology and healthcare and some really cool experiences at GE and some private equity work and Covidien and now Medtronic. So yeah, it's been fun.
Tom Salemi (03:12):
What was that GE experience like? We talked with Geoff Martha about that when I spoke with him a few times ago and...
Bob White (03:18):
I really enjoyed the GE experience. GE, back in the day, now this is well over a decade ago, it was really an operating company. You know what it means, you really understood and developed good operating mechanisms, good way to think about the processes we do in business, from strategy planning to tactical execution, to the talent agenda. So it was great. It was a lot of fun.
Tom Salemi (03:42):
Excellent. So let's talk a bit about what you're currently doing at Medtronic, as we've talked about in a few of these episodes is, a reorganization has gone on, so what is your focus at the moment? What company are you heading?
Bob White (03:54):
Yeah. Sure, Tom. Medtronic has three big portfolios, so I head up the Medical Surgical portfolio and the way to think about that, it's comprised of six global business units that roll up to about nine billion in size and about half a third of the 90,000 Medtronic employees.
Tom Salemi (04:13):
What do you see the end result of this reorganization being? You can't just rearrange things for the sake of rearranging them, obviously.
Bob White (04:20):
Yeah. No, Tom, you're over the right target. But the whole purpose and focus of this reorganization was to do what we call, acting big and acting small at the same time. What I mean by then, if you've talked to other Medtronic execs you probably knew this is, first, the real push to decentralization. Move our businesses as close to their customers as we can. So for example, in my business, a certain call point may be anesthesiologist, but that's very different from the general surgeons, right?
Bob White (04:48):
So just push that as close as possible, while at the same point, let's figure out how we leverage Medtronic size and scale, and that can take shape, if we're doing wafer-scale manufacturing, we don't need to think about all these businesses thinking about wafer-scale manufacturing, but they should be really thinking about how'd they get very close to their end markets. So that's what was really, the driving force behind this.
Tom Salemi (05:10):
And how do you as a senior management and then this type of organization where you're really trying to get your businesses closer to the customer, closest to the ground, how do you help guide them, without overstepping or pushing too hard? Because the whole point is that they're running autonomously and they're making their own decisions. How do you find that balance?
Bob White (05:28):
Well, I think it starts, Tom, with making sure you get the right people in the chairs, right? And so we spend a lot of time on the talent agenda, being really thoughtful, not just about the precedents of the operating units, but the teams they have around them. So it starts with, can you get the right people? And then we spend a lot of time intentionally on their development, right?
Bob White (05:46):
What skills do they need to run these global businesses? And I like to say, I provide them freedom in the framework, right? Provide a framework for their operating environment but really encourage them. They own the P&L, so I really expect them to be able to move up and down and dial the levers that they need, again, through the lens of being incredibly agile and responsive in their end markets, right? And that's, I think, the secret.
Tom Salemi (06:12):
We spoke recently with Linnea Burman and Megan Rosengarten of your surgical robotics space, that's falling under surgery, I guess, I'm bringing that in because we're exploring the ways the surgical specialty is changing. How do you see this area changing in the future? Surgical robotics is certainly one, but what do you see for the next five years, perhaps 10, how do you see surgical specialties developing?
Bob White (06:37):
Yeah. Tom, look, if you step back and think about surgery and then you may have covered this with Megan or Linnea, but 60% of the world surgeries are still done open, right? So surgeons, she takes her knife, she cuts you down the middle, puts her hands in, fix you some stuff and then closes you back up.
Bob White (06:55):
And so the whole shift to minimally invasive surgery, of which robotic assisted surgery is a piece of that, I'll come to that, but that's still only 35% of the surgeries. And we know, minimally invasive surgery has shorter recovery times, which means less hospital stays, lower infection rates, it's just good, good, good, good for the patient, good for the provider, good for the payer. And then you'd look at it and say, well, robotic assisted surgery at the core of it, I think, what it does is give a surgeon better eyes and better hands, right? And that's what you'd love.
Bob White (07:26):
And so, then you take that a step further and say, well, how about three, four or five, 10 years from now, you're really leveraging artificial intelligence, and data and information, to guide the surgeon of what's a no fly zone, so to speak. Don't cut there or to be able to really accurately identify cancer margins. And so you can do so many new, different things, that we'll do in the future, that'll make us look at what we do today as pretty rudimentary, I think.
Tom Salemi (07:53):
No, that's a great point. How does this specialty evolved? Focusing or thinking, again, about surgical robotics, I mean, that was something that, 20 years ago it was introduced and it was almost seen by some, at least, as a hammer searching for a nail, that there was this technology that the companies were pushing and a lot of surgeons supposedly didn't want at all, although that's clearly, the pendulum has shifted.
Tom Salemi (08:19):
Who is guiding the future of surgery in your mind? Is it coming from the surgeon? Does industry, sort of, take on the role as visionary and bring tech in front of the surgeons and say, "No, you really need to use AR or you really need to use VR, or you really need to..." What role does industry play in mapping out the future of the specialty?
Tom Salemi (08:39):
Now, let's take a break from our conversation with Bob White to bring back Larry Acquarulo, the CEO of Foster. Larry told us at the top who Foster is, give us some more details on what Foster does and how do companies work with you?
Larry Acquarulo (08:54):
Every new product development, medical device usually starts off with the plastic or the polymer because most of these things that are made out of plastic, and it's trying to understand what materials you need. And a lot of what we work with at a company like Medtronic is working with their engineers, so that we can understand what the material needs are. And we can custom design, develop, formulate a material, specifically, for that application.
Larry Acquarulo (09:25):
Then we can go into R and D mode, scale it up and then go into full-scale manufacture. So we can work down into the gram level, all the way up to thousands of pounds into production or fully ISO 13485-certified. We have clean environment, clean rooms and all of the infrastructure with the regulatory, the analytical lab to support the needs of these types of applications.
Tom Salemi (09:53):
At what role does industry play in, in mapping out the future of the specialty?
Bob White (09:59):
Yeah. Tom, it's a great question. We really view it as a partnership, right? We will never get in the way of surgeons practicing medicine, but all surgeons want to get better at their craft, right? Everybody wants to get better at their craft. And so you think about, the surgeon training programs now around the world, they're hands-on with robots and you think about where these surgeons were as kids, they spend time on Xbox and video games, right? I mean, this is their world.
Bob White (10:26):
And so, the idea of leveraging technology is just second nature to them. And so they love the idea of how they can lean into that. And I know we take the perspective of really designing our technology outside in, which means it starts with them. It starts with patient care, how they can get better. And so that's where it begins, it'll always be a partnership, but of course, surgeons aren't medtech makers, right? So we have that piece of leveraging the technology that best suits the purpose.
Tom Salemi (10:54):
That's a great point. I talked to a CEO recently, she was a surgeon turned CEO, but said that she created this connectivity company because partly because she was a gamer as a child and she just, it was a native platform for her. So you're right, the gaming technology.
Tom Salemi (11:07):
I know you're a big believer in culture and I've read some of the work you've been involved with. What does a healthy culture for a medtech company look like to create that sort of partnership between industry and surgeon?
Bob White (11:22):
Yeah. I'm glad you touched on it, Tom. When I think about culture, it's important, I think, to think about where it fits in, right? Strategy defines what we do. The Mission defines why we do it and we can come back and touch on the Mission, but the culture really defines how we do it, and this is so incredibly important. And I use this with our team sometimes, internally, I think about culture is the high octane fuel in the car, right? It really determines both how fast and how far we're going to go. And that culture gets really personalized.
Bob White (11:56):
People ask me, "Well, Bob, how do you describe culture?" It's like, well, when you're having a backyard, barbecue with somebody and I say, "What's it like to work for Medtronic?" And how you answer that question speaks volumes about the culture, right? And then, so what we did, Tom, is we built on a great base, that Medtronic has.
Bob White (12:15):
I've mentioned a phenomenal Mission, it is the North Star. It is our compass. And we had a good culture but we're like, culture is a living thing, we should be able to take it to the next level. And that's really where our energy was spent. And we can spend some more time there, Tom, but it was, take something from good to great. I'm a big Jim Collins fan, and I think that was what was really in front of us.
Tom Salemi (12:37):
So how would you like if you were at that barbecue next to that employee who was asked that question and you were just over here and you weren't standing in the circle with them, how would you like to see them... What would you like to hear come from them to answer that question?
Bob White (12:48):
Yeah. I mean, a couple of things I'd love to understand, I'd love for them to say, "It's a culture that acts boldly." I'd love for them to say, "It's a culture that fosters belonging and voices are heard." I'd love for them to say, "It's a culture that delivers results, but we deliver results the right way and very consistently."
Bob White (13:07):
And it's a culture that's focused on creating a sense of urgency, moving with speed and decisiveness. And it's a culture that I like to use the word grit, it's got resilience, right? You get knocked down, you get back up. And those were the attributes that I would love to have at that backyard barbecue come out, in our colleagues' voices.
Tom Salemi (13:28):
What are you employing, currently, to sort of foster those attributes?
Bob White (13:34):
Yeah. Tom, I think when you look at culture, hard, I mean, we'll get symbols, it's processes, it's just approaches to doing things, are you consistent, and so as we've launched this refresh, we call it the Medtronic Mindset. And we're really focused on, first, I'm a big believer in role models, Tom. I think, culture's not about posters. Culture is about being able to point to people who do the things you want them to do and they do it consistently, right?
Bob White (14:04):
So your peers can say, "Oh, I want to do what Riley does or I want to do what Katie does because they do it consistently." So this identification of role models, and then we're taking these, what we call Medtronic M indsets, I talked about acting bold and being fearless, finding examples of what that means, and then encouraging and reinforcing that through our systems, through our recognition, through our processes.
Bob White (14:29):
But we know, Tom, that you need, when I think about culture, first, you got to be intentional because you can't be haphazard about it. Two, this is something, while I'm pleased to talk about it, this is that's owned by all of us because if it just becomes a management thing, it's not going to work. Then we talk about, are we tangible? And that's how we're doing this, through recognition and measures.
Bob White (14:53):
And then finally, I think we've got to be able to prioritize and pace it, Tom. And the reason I tell you that is, this isn't a zero to a hundred in an afternoon, you've got to be able to prioritize it in a smart way but then give your employees a roadmap to say, "Here's the mile markers as we go on enhancing our culture where we know we're successful." You see what I mean? Just call that, pacing it, thoughtfully and intentionally. So we're working hard at that.
Tom Salemi (15:21):
And we're talking about, sort of, the reorganization of your current staff, but obviously, at some point you probably already are. You're bringing new people in, so you're searching for new people to fit into this culture. I know you've got some thoughts on hiring great talent and hiring leaders and you've got a Big Five, so talk to me, I want to know about the Big Five. Let's talk about the Big Five because it's a collection of attributes in...
Bob White (15:45):
Yeah. Look, I mean, after 30 years in the game, you kind of hone on what you think is important, and kind of my lessons from the journey, so to speak, and they are more borne out of when I've made mistake hiring people than when I got it right, but through the years, it's kind of honed into these five and I'll talk about each one.
Bob White (16:02):
The first one's humility. And Tom, I look for leaders who are humble because, one, they have a tendency to be better listeners. And when you're a better listener that makes you a better learner, right? So couple that humility with... It's a privilege to get to do what we do, I mean, we alleviate pain, restore health and extend life, and that can be... My dad, when he was still living, he benefited from a Medtronic therapy. And so, humility is a big one for me.
Bob White (16:29):
The second one, as I look for people who are authentic, I don't have any time for politicians, I don't have any time when people want to spin the truth. I think, as leaders, we just got to meet people where they are, authentically. And so authenticity is a big one, second one.
Bob White (16:44):
The third one is confidence. You know this, Tom, because you know this industry inside and out. This is a dynamic, fast-paced world we live in, and I expect my leaders to be confident, I expect them to lead from the front. That confidence is a really, kind of, big deal, big, big deal for me.
Bob White (17:01):
And then, Tom, and I think, I've only been at this intersection of healthcare and technology, I expect people who are passionate, right? And man, when I've made mistakes, I thought, "Oh, I can maybe increase his passion around this industry or what we do." And you can't. You can't buy somebody's passion. It's just that, it's that deep-seated belief that we can transform healthcare. And that is what is just so incredibly compelling to me.
Bob White (17:27):
And the fifth one... It's kind of related, it's just transparency. You know what I mean? Life's too short, I'm the world's worst mind reader, so look, if you're not going to be transparent with me, I will never know what's on your mind. So we're really driving towards this radical transparency, let's just work the problem together. So those are the Big Five, that's what I look for.
Tom Salemi (17:48):
Those are great. And they, kind of, create a very small head of the pin, I mean, to be humble and confident, how do you balance that? On one hand, you want to show that you're in charge and you can handle things. The other hand, you don't want to come off as knowing everything and not listening. What's the fine line that-
Bob White (18:05):
Well, Tom, I think it's that difference between being cocky and being confident, right? I think people who are confident have this knowledge and experience. Look, been there, done that, a little bit, right? But very open to learning and getting better. I think, for me, confidence is a little bit of that servant leadership model, which is, look, because, Tom, I think about it this way, I ask our leaders that fundamental to their job is to help their people get to a place they couldn't get to by themselves, because if they could get there by themselves, why do they need you as their manager, right, if you think about it?
Bob White (18:39):
Well, you've got to be confident. You've got to be confident, and you know this industry, Tom, when we go through a crisis, you've got to be confident enough to keep a steady hand on the throttle, lead your people through the valley, up to the next summit.
Bob White (18:53):
But I always remind my leaders, there's a reason you don't see trees on the mountain top, it's because trees grow in the valley, right? And it's in the valley where we grow and... Look, you got to be confident in those valleys and know that there's going to be a better day ahead.
Tom Salemi (19:09):
That's great. That's great. And the passion, I just want to explore that. You came from IBM, from tech, and found your way here, there are others who find their way to medtech, maybe they wanted to be doctors, maybe they had other interests, do you find that passion, do you look for someone who's been in medtech for most of their career, and you see that as sort of a commitment and a passion to the sector? Or can you find that passion in someone who's, maybe, spent 10 years in another industry and has found their way to apply for a job at Medtronic?
Bob White (19:42):
Yeah, absolutely. It's an, and, not an or, Tom. I'll tell you, some of our most amazing people, passionate people inside are those that have gone through with their family members, a very difficult healthcare situation, where candidly, maybe they just received very poor treatment at an institution and they're like, you can't be this bad.
Bob White (20:03):
Or someone who has a child with a disability and says, "Why can't we get a better answer for this?" So I don't think you have to have grown up in medtech. But we're different than making shoes, and I had nothing against shoemakers, I mean-
Tom Salemi (20:17):
Not at all. Let them get their own podcast.
Bob White (20:21):
Exactly, they'd do their own podcast series. But, look, if you're passionate about helping people live better lives through technology, then Medtronic is an amazing place for you to come work because you're going to work with people who challenge you, but who are bright, who are committed.
Bob White (20:40):
And we don't always get it right, we made a ton of mistakes. But this idea of the intention and the compass around the Mission is so true, and that's why I think people want to come work for Medtronic.
Tom Salemi (20:52):
No, that's great. One thing I wonder, just go back in your past a bit. I'm guessing that the Medtronic's acquisition of Covidien was probably one of the more educational experiences, I mean, I reported on it, I write about it, I write the big billion dollar price tag and then I'm kind of like, "Okay, let them figure it out."
Tom Salemi (21:10):
But you were there, part of the integrate... What was that like coming from the company, being part of a company that was acquired into the company that was acquiring? Because Covidien was hitting a stride, you had spun out of Tyco, you were finding your place and then suddenly you're handed this, "Here, all of you make this work." What was that experience like, the integration?
Bob White (21:27):
Yeah. It's fun, you asked about that, Tom. So, we'll pull the clock back now, we've spent five or six years, amazing. And you're right, I love Covidien. It was a great culture. It was a culture that had a real performance ethos, you know what I mean? You did what you said you were going to do, you really placed a premium on execution and Medtronic was this amazing patient-centric culture.
Bob White (21:51):
And I think the reason the merger worked so well was it brought two strengths together in a pretty unique way, right? You brought this performance edge inside of legacy Covidien and you brought Medtronic, which has an unbelievable focus on the patient. And so what this emerged is, you could do both, right? You could be both a high-performance company and have a great focus on the patient.
Bob White (22:18):
And I will tell you, Tom, the thing that I think made it stick so well is the Mission of Medtronic, which has not changed for 60 years since Dr. Earl Bakken wrote it. People really from Covidien understood how authentic that was and how durable that was. And you could move right into that, all six tenets.
Bob White (22:39):
And so I tell people all the time, Tom, all 90,000 Medtronic employees probably cannot tell you on your podcast, all six tenets, but most of them will tell you the first one, to alleviate pain, restore health and extend life, and that's pretty amazing, right? Because you talk to a lot of companies and asked people what their mission are, they're not going to come up with that answer.
Bob White (22:57):
And it's because it's authentic and it's real. And whether in a board meeting in a month, or at the executive committee this morning, we're talking about how does this decision fit with the Mission? And so that's what I think makes it special, and that's why I think the integration works so well.
Tom Salemi (23:13):
Interesting, interesting. I just want us to talk a little bit more about the culture part of bringing the Covidien and the Medtronic cultures together. Was there a melding of the two?
Bob White (23:24):
Yeah. It's interesting because right at the time of acquisition, Omar asked me to move to Singapore and run Asia Pacific for the combined entity, so it was absolutely an amazing point in my career because we had a brand new organization of 6,000 people or whatever it was in Asia Pacific at the time, a three and a half billion dollar business. And I had to form of brand new leadership team, right?
Bob White (23:48):
And I took leaders from legacy Medtronic, I took leaders from legacy Covidien, brought in a few outside people, and really sat down and said, "What do we want to do? Who do we want to be?" How do we, not just take a little bit at Covidien, a little bit of Medtronic, put it in the blender and mix it up. That's going to give me a culture milkshake or something.
Bob White (24:08):
What I want to do is, let's really understand what we can stand on and it really did emerge into these two things of, let's keep the performance ethos. Let's make sure we do what we say we're going to do, put a premium on execution, and let's really understand how our therapies impact lives and patients. And so that really brought the team together in a way that people got it. And if you didn't like it, you left. But I think it's been pretty durable. It really has.
Tom Salemi (24:39):
Excellent. Now it's obviously, it's worked in a, culture milkshake may be a good name of a book, if you're looking to write something. Well, just going forward again and circling back to your business, where do you want to be? Where do you want this business part of Medtronic to be?
Tom Salemi (24:54):
We hit upon this a little bit at the start, but where do you want to be in five years? And how different is surgical technology and the surgical business going to look in five years? Do you have a vision for it being vastly different? Or do you think it's going to look similar to what it looks like now?
Bob White (25:10):
Tom, I believe things will change rapidly and I think we almost have to deconstruct the med-surg portfolio. So we talked about surgical innovations and the future of surgery and robotics, I won't go back over that ground, but we also have an incredibly exciting gastrointestinal business. So think about this, Tom, GI cancer, it must be the second deadliest cancer in the world today, but yet nobody should die from colon cancer, if you think about it, right? Because you could identify polyps early, right? And get those polyps removed through a colonoscopy.
Bob White (25:42):
But yet in the US alone, there are 22 million Americans who are noncompliants to getting a colonoscopy, which means, they're 50 and above or whatever, they just don't get one. And the technology we're developing, which is a camera, the size of a pill, you swallow it, it takes pictures, it sends these images up to the cloud, process with artificial intelligence, and then, if you've got an issue it sends it to your doctor and she looks at it on her phone and says, "Hey, you need to come in for a therapeutic colonoscopy or you know what, you don't. You're good for 10 years." So you just think about, how that is going to revolutionize?
Bob White (26:18):
And then we have a renal care business and you think about how patients who need dialysis today, it is a very difficult condition, Tom. You got to go to these big centers, three or four times a week. We're developing a disruptive technology that'll bring that to the home. So completely changing how that's done.
Bob White (26:37):
And then we have a business that really rose to the top in respiratory interventions. Think about the ventilator response. I think you talked with Ariel right? So you heard the amazing story. A business that really focuses around the ICU and think about that as leading indicator.
Bob White (26:52):
So anyway, I've got all these big businesses, Tom, but each one of them I think has a path to disrupt the industry through the leverage of technology and fundamentally change the way care is delivered. So I'm super excited about where we're going.
Tom Salemi (27:08):
It is in an amazing time. Final question, I mean, you, sort of, brought it up the past year, how do you think medtech performed during the pandemic, during COVID and how does that make you feel as a medtech leader and professional?
Bob White (27:21):
Yeah, really proud, Tom. When I think about how medtech responded in the past year, and you talk to leaders across the industry, it was amazing. What was even more amazing to me because medtech is made up of people, is how, and I can only speak for Medtronic, but how are people supported each other, right? And we're there for each other.
Bob White (27:42):
This expression now is pretty common, but I love it, everybody's in the same storm but in different boats. And this idea that during the pandemic, people connected with each other, really became a companion for the journey and said, "How can we support our patients, our customers, our doctors during this pandemic." And I just saw just acts of heroism. I mean, just unbelievable acts of people doing unbelievable things.
Bob White (28:08):
The other thing, Tom, that I think, that is such a durable learning of COVID for medtech is, I know in Medtronic would have taken us months, took us weeks. What took us weeks, we're doing days, right? The speed with which you responded to the pandemic because it was so clear, and the need was so pressing.
Bob White (28:29):
My employees tell me, "Bob, we don't want to go back. We got to keep making decisions at this pace. We got to keep moving this fast." You know what I mean? And I think there's an opportunity for that. But to the heart of your question, I'm really pleased how medtech showed up because this is about solving a pandemic and I think the team did a pretty nice job with that.
Tom Salemi (28:44):
No, for sure. And this will be, kind of, maybe a softball question, but I think Medtronic and others also got praised for the way it stood by employees during some of this. I mean, what was that experience like for you to make sure, you're obviously patient first, that's number one, but you had to take care of the people who take care of the people. So what was it like for you to be a leader during this?
Bob White (29:05):
No. Well, thanks Tom. Your question about standing by our people goes right back to our Mission. It's the way we started our conversation, it's Tenet Five of our Mission speaks to the personal worth of every single employee inside of Medtronic. And what we wanted to do is provide an environment where you can realize your potential work with good colleagues, and solve tough problems.
Bob White (29:25):
And what our people saw was that, we made the decisions not to slow down our factories because we knew we're going to come out of this and we wanted to lead our way out of this. We put our people's safety first, their protection. And I know many other companies did as well, Tom, but that was always in the first of our mind.
Bob White (29:44):
And so we just did amazing things around the world from setting up private relationships with healthcares in Mexico to literally calling every single person in Medtronic in China, every other week, who might've been infected and getting their sense.
Bob White (30:00):
It was truly run by our global team in a way that I think people have come back to authenticity, as one of the Big Five, people saw that we were authentic in our actions, and I think that resonated.
Tom Salemi (30:14):
Excellent. All right. Well, Bob, I really enjoyed the conversation. Thanks for your time and thanks for joining us on the podcast.
Bob White (30:19):
No, Tom, thanks a lot. It was a big pleasure.
Tom Salemi (30:23):
All right, we'll wrap it up there folks. Once again, thanks to Bob White for joining us. Thank you, Foster, for your sponsorship and thank you to you for joining us on this episode of the MedtronicTalks podcast. My name is Tom Salemi. I am the editorial director of DeviceTalks. You can find more of our great products at devicetalks.com. You can also find me on social media, I am on Twitter @MedTechTom and I'm on LinkedIn, Tom Salemi.
Tom Salemi (30:47):
Please, do me a favor and tell your friends and colleagues about this podcast. You can share it on social media, and if you do, please tag me on those identities that I mentioned. I'd love to be part of those conversation. Also subscribe, you can find this podcast on all the major podcast channels, Spotify, Amazon, Google, Apple, please subscribe, so you don't miss a future episode. That's it. Tune in next time, we'll have another great episode of the MedtronicTalks podcast waiting for you.