Medtronic Puts Its Muscle Behind AEDs
Medtronic is buying Physio-Control International, the leading maker of external defibrillators for hospital and out-of hospital applications. The big attraction for Medtronic is Physio-Control's automatic external defibrillators, which are simple-to-use external defibrillators, designed to allow minimally trained or untrained peole to provide quick help to victims of sudden cardiac death. Medtronic wants to increase the extremely low survival rate of SCD victims because they can then become candidates for Medtronic's implantable defibrillators. Physio Control on the other hand, while the market leader in this field, needs Medtronic's resources and access to cardiologists in order to quicken the pace of the market development in this field. Moreover, Physio-Control, while successful, is a narrowly focused company, which has made its stock more volatile than is warranted.
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At a time when the US industry is undergoing perhaps its most serious crisis of leadership and confidence, it was appropriate that Bill George, former chairman and CEO of Medtronic was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award at this year's Phoenix Medical Device and Diagnostic conference for CEOs, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Versant Ventures, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Windhover Information. Honoring Bill George at this particular time is propitious because George has spent his career promoting the importance of individual values and responsibility in corporate leadership, and has just published "Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value," a book that defines the qualities he considers essential attributes for corporate leaders to successfully manage companies built to deliver long-term value.
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