Medtronic, St. Jude to end dispute over employee

Medtronic and St. Jude Medical have settled a legal dispute involving Joseph McCullough, a former St. Jude employee who jumped ship. 

In July, St. Jude brought suit against its rival after McCullough allegedly violated a noncompete agreement when he accepted a position at Medtronic, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. McCullough, the former group president for St. Jude's U.S. and international division, was one of the company's top-paid executives. But in 2009, as several of its core businesses slowed, he agreed to step down, the Star Tribune reports. St. Jude agreed to keep him on the payroll at an annual salary of $500,000 through December of this year; McCullough agreed to honor his noncompete agreement, according to the complaint.

However, McCullough allegedly notified St. Jude in May that he "no longer was an employee...effective immediately" and exercised stock options worth $2.1 million. St. Jude said it believes McCullough was lured by Medtronic to "switch sides" with a signing bonus and other benefits, the Star Tribune notes.

St. Jude fought back because McCullough had enjoyed "complete and unfettered" access to its "most sensitive and confidential" information concerning global operations, MedCity News noted back in July.  Indeed, McCullough had reported directly to St. Jude CEO Dan Starks.

The companies did not disclose terms of the settlement, including whether it affects McCullough's employment at Medtronic.

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ALSO: St. Jude has announced that physicians from the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute will lead the company's transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) clinical trial. The study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the St. Jude Medical transcatheter aortic valve for patients who experience severe aortic stenosis and who may be at an elevated risk for open-heart surgery. St. Jude release