Hawkins to step down as Medtronic CEO, chair
William A. Hawkins, chairman and CEO of Medtronic, intends to retire at the conclusion of the current fiscal year, which will end April 29, 2011. The company said its board of directors has initiated an external search for his replacement, and Hawkins plans to remain until his successor is appointed.

Hawkins, 56, was elected as CEO in August of 2007 and as chairman of the board in July 2008. He joined the company in 2002 as senior vice president and president of the company’s vascular business and became president and chief operating officer in 2004.
Under Hawkins’ leadership, the Minneapolis-based Medtronic extended its presence as a telemedicine developer and combined its cardiac rhythm disease management, cardiovascular and Physio-Control businesses into one business unit.