Former Medtronic CEO Winston "Win" Wallin is being remembered today as a highly influential figure in both Minnesota business and philanthropy. Wallin died Monday. He was 84.
Wallin led Medtronic from 1985 to 1991. It was a period of explosive growth for the company. During his tenure, Medtronic's workforce almost doubled to 8,500, and its market value increased 10-fold.
"He actually didn't care what the stock price was," said Bill George, who succeeded Wallin as CEO. "He said, 'we're going to get it right and the stock price will follow.' And he was right."
After retiring from the corporate world, Wallin turned his attention to supporting education.
"Government alone cannot do it," he told Minnesota Public Radio News in 1997. "Educating our young people is one of the most important things we can do in this country."
Over the last two decades the scholarship program Wallin created has given away more than $25 million to support promising, low-income graduates from Twin Cities area high schools.