Omar Ishrak's tenure at Medtronic: 5 of the biggest partnerships, product launches

Written by Alan Condon | February 14, 2020 | Print  | Email

Omar Ishrak's nearly 10-year tenure as chairman and CEO of Medtronic will come to an end when he retires April 26.

During Mr. Ishrak's time at Medtronic, the company's annual revenues doubled, and its market capitalization increased by more than $100 billion.

Geoff Martha, who leads the company's restorative therapies group and previously oversaw the company's spine business, will succeed Mr. Ishrak April 27.

Here are five of the biggest moments in Medtronic's spine division during Mr. Ishrak's tenure:

1. In 2016, Mr. Ishrak spearheaded Medtronic's investment in spinal robotics company Mazor Robotics. Medtronic inked a major deal that led to the acquisition of Mazor for about $1.7 billion in December 2018.

2. Medtronic combined its spinal implants, navigation and 3D imaging technology with Mazor's robotic-assisted spine surgery system and launched the Mazor X Stealth Edition system for robotic-assisted spine surgery in January 2019. Last year, more than 50 hospitals in the U.S. used the Mazor X system in over 1,000 procedures.

3. In 2015, Medtronic acquired Covidien, a $10 billion global manufacturer of surgical products and supplies. The $42.9 billion tax inversion deal moved Medtronic's corporate headquarters to Dublin, Ireland, availing of the country's low corporation tax. The transaction was the largest medical technology acquisition in the industry's history.

4. The Prestige LP cervical disc system was launched in 2016, expanding the capabilities of the original Prestige cervical disc, released in 2007. Prestige LP is designed for the treatment of single-level cervical disc disease, enabling motion in the neck at the operated levels, unlike a fusion surgery. A 2017 study in The Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine reported an 81.4 percent success rate in patients who underwent disc replacement with Prestige LP compared to a 69.4 percent success rate for patients who had an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.

5. Last year, Medtronic acquired Titan Spine, a private company focused on titanium spinal implants and surface technology. The deal enables Medtronic to bundle interbodies, screws, rods, biologics and enabling technologies — which includes robotics and navigation — for an overall integrated spine solution.

The Mazor acquisition is only beginning to show signs of paying off, Mr. Ishrak said at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in January. "Our spine business this last year … has had its strongest year, and the robot has played a big role in that." 

Medtronic plans to expand its robotic technology into general surgery within the next year and Mr. Ishrak is confident the company will be in good hands under Mr. Martha's leadership. 

"This [retirement] plan and its timing enable Geoff and I to partner on achieving Medtronic's key financial performance goals as well as delivering on our critical pipeline milestones, including several important product launches," Mr. Ishrak said. "Geoff is a results-oriented, dynamic and innovative business leader who is passionate and committed to our mission: the advancement of our growth strategy and the development and diversity of our people."

More articles on devices:
Spinal fusion will be performed for 'decades to come': Key thoughts from 4 surgeons
Challenges facing private practices in spine, and strategies to tackle them
10 numbers that show how big Johnson & Johnson is in spine, orthopedics

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies here.