Medtronic Cuts 220 Jobs from Mounds View-Based Division

A company spokesman said that the cuts are not specific to a single function or department, and he declined to disclose how many Minnesota employees are affected.

Medtronic, Inc., is cutting 220 jobs at its cardiac rhythm disease management division, which is based in Mounds View.

Steven Cragle, Medtronic's senior director of corporate public relations, told Twin Cities Business on Thursday that “the majority” of the cuts will affect the division's U.S. workers, but he declined to disclose how many cuts will occur in Mounds View specifically or when exactly the cuts will or did occur. Affected employees were informed last week that their jobs will be eliminated, he said.

Cragle said that the cuts are not specific to a single function or department, and affected workers will receive severance pay.

The cuts stem from a standard review of the company's operations, from which it adjusts its work force to best meet customer needs and to remain competitive, according to Cragle. Such reviews can lead to layoffs, as experienced in Mounds View, or additional hiring, said Cragle. “Certainly, as we're looking to expand in emerging markets . . . we are continuing to hire,” he added.

Medtronic employs about 8,000 in Minnesota. The company in February 2011 announced restructuring plans, including up to 2,000 job cuts throughout its global operations, but Cragle said that the layoffs in Mounds View are unrelated to that restructuring.

Fridley-based Medtronic is the world's largest medical device company and Minnesota's seventh-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $15.93 billion for the fiscal year that ended last April. For the quarter that ended January 27, the company reported revenue of $3.9 billion, up 2 percent from the same period during the previous year, and earnings of $935 million, up 1 percent.

The Mounds View-based division makes pacemakers and implantable heart defibrillators. It accounted for about $1.2 billion-or roughly 30 percent-of the company's third-quarter sales.

Thomas Gunderson, an analyst at Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray & Company, told the Star Tribune that the layoffs appear to be an effort by CEO Omar Ishrak-who took the reins last June-to put his stamp on Medtronic's largest division, which has seen a slump in sales. The company's defibrillator sales used to grow 20 percent a year but now grow roughly 2 percent annually, Gunderson told the Minneapolis newspaper. Growth in pacemaker sales has also slid.