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September 2, 2015

AZ Business Magazine

Medtronic’s Gordon Steere earns AZBio Pioneer Award

Gordon Steere, who led Medtronic Tempe from 1997 -2008, has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Arizona BioIndustry Association.

“During a period of rapid growth and innovation across our industry, Gordon Steere led the Medtronic team in the creation of one of the leading life science microelectronic centers in the world” said Joan Koerber-Walker, president and CEO of AZBio. “Thanks to his vision, leadership and commitment to growing Medtronic’s presence within our life science community, today the Medtronic Tempe Campus spans over 30 acres and includes over 400,000 square feet of state-of-the-art design, development and manufacturing facilities.”

A ceremony honoring Gordon Steere will take place at the AZBio Awards on October 1, 2015 at the Phoenix Convention Center. The AZBio Awards ceremony celebrates Arizona’s leading educators, innovators and companies. Each year, AZBio honors bioindustry leaders from across the state of Arizona who are illustrative of the depth, breadth and expertise of our bioscience industry.

Beginning in 1973 as Medtronic Micro-Rel, today’s campus began as a single manufacturing facility that had previously been owned by Motorola.  Under Steere’s leadership, the campus was expanded five times helping it to reach the level of scale and sophistication that it is at today.

Medtronic Tempe is a vertically integrated manufacturing site and technology center for the world’s leading medical technology company and focuses on analog and mixed signal integrated circuit design and fabrication with a focus on ultra-low power and power management devices to support Medtronic’s global life science portfolio.

This commitment to innovation has resulted in over 190 patents by local team members and over 800 employees at Medtronic Tempe. They design, develop, manufacture and test microelectronics solutions used in Medtronic implantable devices, such as cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, devices that help patients with diabetes manage their insulin levels safely and effectively, spinal cord stimulators for pain management and deep brain stimulators that address movement disorders.   The world’s smallest pacemaker, the MicraTM Transcatheter Pacing system, and other products leveraging Medtronic’s expertise in miniaturization are also manufactured at the site.  The site produces over 1,000,000 units annually and enables approximately 20% of Medtronic’s $27.8 B revenue.

Gordon advocated for the value that the Tempe Campus’  “connected capabilities” provided to Medtronic, inspiring every employee to support Medtronic’s growth.  Even today, as a legacy coach, his dedication to the organization’s success remains.  Gordon’s steady leadership has inspired employees to reach their full potential, contributing to Medtronic’s Mission through developing new products and world class manufacturing processes.

Past recipients of the AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement include:  Roy Curtiss, III, Ph.D.  of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University,  David S. Alberts, M.D., Director Emeritus at the Arizona Cancer Center, Raymond L. Woosley, M.D., Ph.D.,  Chairman Emeritus of the Critical Path Institute, and Thomas M. Grogan, M.D., founder of Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.

For registration and more information about the AZBio Awards, go to