Medtronic CEO: Board member James Lenehan to succeed Bill Hawkins?

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Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) CEO Bill Hawkins led his last earnings call at the medical device company last week, and theStar Tribune last week reported 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 wrote that the new chief at the Minneapolis-based company may well be James Lenehan, a former Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) 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 long. Medtronic cardiac and vascular group president Mike Coyle or restorative therapies group president Chris O’Connell may soon succeed Lenehan.

Medtronic’s board could also choose to select a complete outsider. In that case, a commenter on Moore’s story has a name: Brad Sauer — executive VP of 3M Co.’s (NYSE:MMM) Health Care business.

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