UNC Media & Journalism Hall of Fame Honor Recognizes ‘Game-Changing Industry Leader’ For His Deep Expertise
The University of North Carolina has inducted Medtronic SVP and Chief Communications Officer Torod Neptune into the UNC Media & Journalism Hall of Fame.
The honor celebrates ‘game-changing industry leaders’ with ties to the state and recognizes Neptune’s deep expertise in managing complex brand, reputation, public policy, and other issues for large global businesses.
Neptune, a member of the Board of Advisers for UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media, joined several other distinguished inductees this year including PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, award-winning sportswriter Peter Gammons, and Garden & Gun Magazine CEO Rebecca Darwin.
“As a proud North Carolina native, I’m even more thrilled about being recognized not only by the Hall of Fame, but by several of my hometown peers, colleagues and friends,” Neptune told the induction audience. “Beyond the honor of this recognition, I know we all appreciate the significance of this moment — the moment that we are experiencing by society. The challenges are substantial, and they take on more significance with each passing day. Even as I think about these challenges, I’m optimistic and hopeful. The challenges we confront are where and perhaps why our work takes on such significance and meaning.”
The UNC Hall of Fame induction comes shortly after Neptune began leading the Global Communications and Corporate Marketing organization (GCCM) at Medtronic. His interest in joining the Medtronic team was inspired by the role that he says communications and marketing must play in positioning Medtronic as the global leader in healthcare technology.
After just two months on the job, Neptune has seen firsthand the passion that employees have for the Medtronic Mission and for the life-changing innovation behind its products and therapies.
“There’s a lot that’s happening — in the world around us and within Medtronic — that requires us to think differently about how we show up as an organization,” said Neptune. “The opportunity to help enable those changes is a significant moment in time that you don’t often get presented in your career.”
Prior to joining Medtronic, Neptune held marketing leadership roles at Lenovo, Verizon, Bank of America and the U.S. House of Representatives. Throughout his career, he has challenged his teams to be proactive, bold, creative, and disruptive.
“What got us to where we are is not going to get us to where we need to go,” said Neptune, who often speaks to his team about taking work to a ‘higher gear’. Looking ahead, he says, it’s important to take the Medtronic message directly to consumers.
“We have to consider an audience that is broader than just patients and physicians and go beyond just speaking to our product benefits and features,” he said. “We must address the issues that are important to patients, physicians, consumers and our employees. That includes social issues: inequity in healthcare, social injustice, diversity and inclusion. Where we show up, and how we show up matters.”
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