Medtronic cutting 550 jobs

A cardiac defibrillator manufactured by Medtronic.
Photo courtesy of Medtronic

(AP) - Medtronic Inc. said Wednesday that it is eliminating about 550 jobs from its Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management division through buyouts and layoffs.

About 80 of the jobs are in the Twin cities, the Fridley-based medical technology company said.

The staff is being reduced because of a sluggish market for implantable cardioverter defibrillators, which are put into the chest to shock errantly beating hearts back into rhythm.

Demand for the device dropped after a series of safety-related recalls, mostly by Guidant Corp., which is part of Boston Scientific Corp.

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Medtronic spokesman Rob Clark said about 300 people in the division nationwide will be laid off. However, he said the number could change depending on whether employees opt to transfer to other jobs within the company.

Another 250 people accepted voluntary buyouts, including early retirement, Clark said.

The Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management division employs 8,000 people nationwide, including 4,500 in the Twin Cities.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)