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Medtronic Will Cut 1,500 to 1,800 Employees

par Joan Trombetti, Writer | May 19, 2009
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Medtronic said Tuesday it would cut 1,500 to 1,800 employees after posting a fiscal fourth-quarter profit that plunged 69 percent on slipping sales and restructuring and other charges.

The company said it recorded a $27 million restructuring charge cut in connection the jobs cuts, which are aimed at streamlining operations. About 400 employees already have accepted buyout offers and will leave the company by the end of the month.

Medtronic has stumbled in recent quarters following safety-related concerns with its implantable devices. The company has lost share of its top-selling implantable defibrillators to rivals like Boston Scientific Corp., after a 2007 recall linked to cracked heart wiring.

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Chief Executive Bill Hawkins said the company is beginning to see the implantable defibrillator market regain ground after several years of flat sales. He added that upcoming study results looking at the life-saving benefits of the implants could help sales.

Sales of heart surgery products remained flat at $644 million. The products include catheters and angioplasty balloons, which are used to clear fatty plaque from the arteries, as well as mesh-metal stents, or tiny tubes used to prop open the arteries once they've been cleared.