Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2013 (Revised May 2013)

Omar Ishrak: Building Medtronic Globally

by Bill George and Natalie Kindred

Abstract

Omar Ishrak, Medtronic's first non-American CEO, aims to reinvigorate the medical device maker's growth by focusing on emerging markets, therapy innovation, and creative business models. In 2012, budget constraints in mature economies, the lack of new medical therapies coming to market, and the decline in growth of Medtronic's core businesses has reduced the company's once dynamic growth close to zero. As the newly appointed CEO, Ishrak faces the formidable challenge of restoring the company's growth. In his first 18 months as CEO, he has laid the groundwork for future growth by ramping up R&D investment in breakthrough therapy innovations. To bolster Medtronic's near-term prospects, he has supported creative product and business model innovations aimed at overcoming adoption barriers in emerging economies. Ishrak restructured his executive team and their responsibilities: the heads of Medtronic's global operating regions and major countries, who previously reported to the head of international, now report directly to the CEO, putting seven non-Americans on the executive committee. In another important milestone, Medtronic acquired a Chinese orthopedics company, which became its first fully integrated business unit outside the U.S. Ishrak is trying to decide whether these steps are sufficient to transform Medtronic from a multinational into a truly global company and restore its growth.

Keywords: healthcare; medical devices; Medtronic; globalization; leadership; emerging markets; innovation; reverse innovation; Leadership; Multinational Firms and Management; Globalized Markets and Industries; Management Teams; Business Model; Emerging Markets; Global Strategy; Health Care and Treatment; Acquisition; Innovation and Invention; Manufacturing Industry; Medical Devices and Supplies Industry; China;

Citation:

George, Bill, and Natalie Kindred. "Omar Ishrak: Building Medtronic Globally." Harvard Business School Case 413-065, March 2013. (Revised May 2013.)