One on One with Medtronic executive vice president Bob White

BizWest: Medtronic is no newcomer to Colorado or the Boulder Valley. Would you please give us a quick history lesson on the company’s local presence?

White: Medtronic has had a major presence in Colorado for more than five decades, specifically in Boulder and Louisville. In Boulder, we design life saving devices, such as our Valleylab Energy Portfolio, which offers surgical solutions designed to bring consistency, reliability, and efficiency to open and minimally invasive surgical procedures. In Louisville, our StealthStation surgical navigation system has revolutionized the way surgeons interact with digital patient information in the operating room and allows physicians to precisely track the location of surgical instruments real-time. Our medical technologies developed and produced here in Colorado transform patient care globally.

BizWest: Presumably, Medtronic could have selected any number of regions across the country to locate its new corporate campus. What makes Boulder County such an attractive area for the company’s expansion?

White: We chose Lafayette as the new location as it is conveniently located for our Louisville and Boulder employees. This new world-class innovation and research center, and what we will accomplish there, will help us attract and retain the talent needed to continue to grow and compete in this highly competitive, tech-rich area — providing an opportunity to build careers and nurture future leaders, both within our business and here in the community. I’ve been proud to call the Boulder area my home for many years, and I’ve learned first-hand that this is a special community — a community that cares about its people, its environment, and its impact on the world. Those values are in close alignment with ours at Medtronic.

BizWest: Tell us a little bit about the vision for the new campus. What kind of work will be done there? What elements are you most excited about?

White: I truly believe the new Lafayette campus will be a center point of the kind of culture we strive to foster at Medtronic. A culture that is driven by the power of connection. One that celebrates partnership and collaboration. A culture that is desired by top talent, and one that will make everyone in the community proud to have us call Lafayette home. Bringing together Colorado-based employees on a single campus will provide state-of-the-art facilities for us to better collaborate with each other, our customers, and partners. This type of collaboration leads to even more meaningful innovations that will serve more patients in new ways. Just a few highlights of the campus are: 60,000 square feet of R&D and lab space, dedicated training areas, and many sustainable design and architecture features.

BizWest: How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the planning process for the Lafayette campus? What considerations, if any, have been made to adjust to trends such as the increasing popularity of hybrid work from home and the office?

White: We have learned a lot during the last 18 months, including the need to be nimble and flexible both from an employer and employee perspective. There are significant benefits from being organizationally flexible. As we progress our return to office and move forward plans, we envision a future model that drives both innovation and collaboration and embraces flexibility. While plans are still being finalized, this model requires a hybrid strategy that includes a more flexible work policy, modernized and collaborative space design, and updated technology solutions. Building a new campus in Lafayette provides us with a unique opportunity to customize and align the physical space to our future of work environment.

BizWest: Beyond the new campus, what does Medtronic’s future in Colorado look like?

White: Coming together at a single innovation and research center in Lafayette bolsters our presence in Colorado, strengthens our commitment to this community, and positions us for growth. This new campus will bring together thousands of our employees who already call Colorado home. It represents a more than $200 million investment and commitment to this great state. And, it represents an inspiring future for talent and communities to continue to change the world. As the global health-care technology leader, our goal is to help as many patients around the world as possible. The new Lafayette campus is going to help us do just that. 

BizWest: Medtronic is no newcomer to Colorado or the Boulder Valley. Would you please give us a quick history lesson on the company’s local presence?

White: Medtronic has had a major presence in Colorado for more than five decades, specifically in Boulder and Louisville. In Boulder, we design life saving devices, such as our Valleylab Energy Portfolio, which offers surgical solutions designed to bring consistency, reliability, and efficiency to open and minimally invasive surgical procedures. In Louisville, our StealthStation surgical navigation system has revolutionized the way surgeons interact with digital patient information in the operating room and allows physicians to precisely track the location of surgical instruments real-time. Our medical technologies developed and produced here in Colorado transform patient care globally.

BizWest: Presumably, Medtronic could have selected any number of regions across the country to locate its new corporate campus. What makes Boulder County such an attractive area for the company’s expansion?

White: We chose Lafayette as the new location as it is conveniently located for our Louisville and Boulder employees. This new world-class innovation and research center, and what we will accomplish there, will help us attract and retain the talent needed to continue to grow and compete in this highly competitive, tech-rich area — providing an opportunity to build careers and nurture future leaders, both within our business and here in the community. I’ve been proud to call the Boulder area my home for many years, and I’ve learned first-hand that this is a special community — a community that cares…