The medical device giant based in Fridley, Minnesota, said Hawkins, 56, will leave the company April 2011.
Medtronic will launch an external search for his replacement.
“Bill has made a very significant impact at Medtronic and his service is deeply appreciated,” Ken Powell, lead director on Medtronic’s board of directors and chairman of the board’s corporate governance committee, said in a statement. “We will be working closely with him in the coming months to ensure an orderly transition.
“I am proud of what we have accomplished during my tenure at Medtronic and am confident that we made the right investments in talent, quality and innovation to position the company for long-term growth and future success,” Hawkins said in a statement. “It has been an honor and a privilege to lead such a talented, committed organization and I will work closely with the board to ensure that the transition to my successor is smooth and effective.”