Medtronic co-founder who created wearable pacemaker dies
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Earl Bakken, an electronics repairman who created the first wearable external pacemaker and co-founded one of the world's largest medical device companies, Medtronic, has died. He was 94.
Bakken, who also commercialized the first implantable pacemaker in 1960, died Sunday at his home in Hawaii, Medtronic said in a statement. It didn't give a cause of death.
When Omar Ishrak became CEO of Medtronic seven years ago, the medical device maker had 45,000 employees, $16 billion in sales and a global corporate mailing address just a few miles north of the famous boxcar garage in northeast Minneapolis where Earl Bakken co-founded the company with his brother-in-law, Palmer Hermundslie. Today the company has more than 85,000 employees and $30 billion in sales.
At first it seemed that Medtronic Chairman and CEO Omar Ishrak planned to deliver a superficial introduction to Medtronic, as if maybe no one in the full ballroom had heard much about his company before.
What triggered this fear of a dreadful CEO speech last week was a slide of the Hermundslie garage, a famous little building in a residential neighborhood of northeast Minneapolis. Thats where Earl Bakken and his brother-in-law Palmer Hermundslie got Medtronic going in the late 1940s.
Omar Ishrak, chief executive of homegrown medical technology giant Medtronic, displayed a slide for a Minneapolis banquet-hall audience that showed many of his companys most exciting advances in the fast-moving world of health tech.
Medtronic saw an increase in adjusted earnings for the third quarter, with earnings per share matching analyst expectations after accounting for one-time factors.
Medtronic, which has its operational headquarters in Fridley, said in an earnings release Tuesday that the medical device manufacturer posted nearly $7.37 billion in revenue, an increase of 7 percent compared with last year after adjusting for currency impacts.
Medtronic lost as much as $65 million in revenue in the weeks following Hurricane Maria, which incapacitated the medical device makers four factories in Puerto Rico for weeks after making a direct hit on the island Sept. 20.
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