Devices & Diagnostics

Could a current board member be the new face of Medtronic?

Medtronic is on the hunt for a new CEO to replace Bill Hawkins. Could a current board member be the chosen one?

Medtronic CEO Bill Hawkins led his last earnings call at the medical device company last week, and now the Star Tribune reports that the company’s new face may be a current board member.

Based on an investor’s note penned by Wells Fargo analyst Larry Biegelsen, veteran medical technology reporter Janet Moore reported that the new chief at the Fridley, Minnesota-based company may well be James Lenehan, a former Johnson & Johnson executive. Lenehan has been on Medtronic’s board for four years.

According to a Forbes snapshot, Lenehan retired as president of J&J in 2004, after 28 years at the company. Since October 2004, Lenehan has been a private financial consultant and appears to have been an adviser at Cerberus Capital Management, one of the largest private equity firms in the nation, though it’s not clear whether he is still a consultant there.  The Star Tribune report does not mention Lenehan’s role at Cerberus.

Citing Biegelsen, Moore writes that if chosen, Lenehan’s stint at the helm may not be for long. Mike Coyle, the group president of Medtronic’s cardiac and vascular group, or Chris O’Connell, group president of the company’s restorative therapies group may soon succeed Lenehan.

Of course, Medtronic’s board may choose to select a complete outsider. In that case, a commenter on Moore’s story has a name: Brad Sauer — executive VP of 3M’s Health Care business.