Name: Ken Washington
New title: Chief technology and innovation officer, Medtronic
Previous title: Vice president and general manager of consumer robotics, Amazon
Medtronic has named Ken Washington, former vice president and general manager of consumer robotics at Amazon, to the newly created position of chief technology and innovation officer for the device maker.
Washington will become a member of Medtronic’s executive committee.
He brings extensive experience leading technology development and execution across industries including robotics, consumer products, automotive and space, and will be tasked with accelerating innovation-driven growth, Medtronic said.
"His hiring seems to fit into the larger pattern that [Medtronic CEO] Geoff Martha has established – looking widely outside of medtech for individuals with deep, functional expertise and bringing them over. For instance, Greg Smith joined to lead MDT’s supply chain and he came from Walmart. Que Dallara brought significant software experience from Honeywell’s aeronautics business over to MDT’s diabetes segment," Morningstar analyst Debbie Wang said in an email.
Robotics, sensors and AI are expected to play a key role in the future of medtech. Medtronic is working to improve its revenue growth by focusing on markets such as robotics.
"Dr. Washington will help Medtronic expand use of our technology platforms across our portfolio – including robotics, sensors, implantables and AI – improving our returns on investments in innovation and expanding our technological competitive advantage to drive durable growth," Martha said in a statement.
Washington, who holds a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Texas A&M University, previously was chief technology officer at Ford Motor Co. before joining Amazon. At Ford, he led development of the carmaker’s technology strategy, including next-generation vehicle architectures, controls and automated systems.
Washington also spent seven years at Lockheed Martin in leadership roles including chief technology officer, chief privacy officer, and vice president of the Advanced Technology Center at Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
This story has been updated with an analyst’s comment.