Medtronic CEO to become board chairman
Medtronic’s CEO, William A. Hawkins, has been named chairman of the board of directors, effective August 21, the date of the company’s annual meeting of shareholders. 

At that time, Arthur D. Collins Jr., current chairman, will retire from the board, consistent with the transition plan that was announced in February 2007, according to the Minneapolis-based company. Collins has served as board chairman since 2002.

The company also said that Kendall J. Powell, chairman and CEO of General Mills, will become chair of the board’s corporate governance committee, also effective Aug. 21. In this capacity, Medtronic said that Powell will serve as lead independent director.

Collins joined the company in 1992 as an executive vice president and president of Medtronic International, according to the company.  He was elected chief operating officer (COO) in 1994, president in 1996 and CEO in 2001. Collins served as chairman of AdvaMed, the medical technology industry organization, from 2004 to 2006. He currently serves on the boards of The Boeing Company, Cargill and U.S. Bancorp. 

Medtronic said that Hawkins was named president and CEO in August 2007. Prior to this role, he served as president and COO of Medtronic for more than three years. He joined the company in January 2002 as president of Medtronic’s vascular business. Before joining Medtronic, Hawkins was president and CEO of Novoste.