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Medtronic CEO to Step Down

Yesterday, Medtronic CEO Arthur Collins Jr. announced that he will be stepping down at the company's annual shareholder meeting in August. William Hawkins, the company's president and COO, will then take the reins as president and CEO. Collins has been with the device giant since 1992 and became CEO in 2001. He'll  continue to serve as director and chairman of the board until August 2008. During Collins' time as CEO, Medtronic's market capitalization grew from $53.5 to $58 billion, according to the Star Tribune.

Hawkins will take on the challenge of growing the company's existing businesses that manufacture devices to treat diabetes, heart disease, and spinal and neurological conditions. He'll also have to deal with the controversial issues surrounding defibrillators, as industry recalls have resulted in a "sharp downturn" in sales of the products.

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