Medtronic: One Company, Two Cultures

How Bill George made it work at Medtronic

Back in 1991, when William W. George swept into the corner office at Medtronic Inc. reciting Tennyson, waxing philosophic about corporate "reinvention," and vowing to triple sales within five years, he drew incredulous stares. Some viewed the Harvard MBA as overzealous; others feared his big-company past at Honeywell Inc. might clash with the risk-taking culture that had made the $1 billion Medtronic the world's leading supplier of heart pacemakers. "We had good momentum," says one veteran exec. "We didn't want to lose it."

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