Slumping defibrillator sales forces nearly 1,000 Medtronic layoffs
Based on a United States government filing, Medtronic, a Minneapolis-based medical device manufacturer, will cut approximately 900 jobs, about 2.4 percent of its workforce, as a result of a downturn in sales for implantable cardiac defibrillators, according to Reuters.

The layoffs, 349 of which were made by July 27, should be completed by April 2008, the end of its fiscal year, and are expected to generate annual savings of $125 million. The terminations will be administered through early retirement packages and voluntary and involuntary separations, according to the filing.

Medtronic reported revenues of $12.3 billion and employs more than 37,000 people worldwide. Its sales were drastically affected by the slow in the ICD market since 2005. Reuters reported that the slump followed a series of ICD product recalls mostly by Guidant, later acquired by Boston Scientific.

A Medtronic spokeswoman told Reuters that approximately 500 jobs will be eliminated from its cardiac rhythm management business, which makes ICDs. Additionally, nearly 200 jobs will be cut from its cardiovascular business, which makes stents and catheters; and an additional 200 from its physio-control subsidiary, which makes external defibrillators.