Intuitive Surgical maps out $500M expansion of Georgia facilities, workforce

Intuitive Surgical
The robotic-assisted surgery company will add about 1,200 workers to its Peachtree Corners, Georgia, location, which will also be expanded with more than 750,000 square feet of R&D labs, training facilities and offices. (Intuitive Surgical)

On the heels of a second quarter that saw revenues jump more than 70% year over year—and even top pre-pandemic earnings for the same period in 2019 by about 15%—Intuitive Surgical is feeling just peachy.

So much so, in fact, that the robotic surgery giant has laid out plans to invest more than $500 million into growing its campus in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta, Gov. Brian Kemp announced this week.

The expansion will add more than 750,000 square feet of space to Intuitive’s facilities in the area. It will also bring in about 1,200 new workers to join the Georgia campus’ existing workforce of about 180.

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Those workers will be recruited for Intuitive’s manufacturing, production, distribution, engineering, sales, training and customer service teams. They’ll fill out the campus’ new spaces, comprising administrative offices, manufacturing and engineering facilities and training labs for surgeons and other hospital staff.

The new facilities will open in phases, as they’re constructed, with the entire expansion project slated for completion by 2024.

“Intuitive needs a highly educated, committed and diverse workforce; quality infrastructure; and the right geography to meet the rising demand for minimally invasive surgical technologies,” CEO Gary Guthart said in a statement.

He continued, “We’ve found that here, and we’re excited to continue to grow in the state. We are committed to hiring a diverse and inclusive workforce as we expand our presence in Georgia.”

Though based in Sunnyvale, California, Intuitive has had a presence in Georgia for about a decade and just last year completed another $1.2 million infusion into the Peachtree Corners campus.

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As the market for robotic-assisted surgeries has rebounded after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., Intuitive has shifted its focus from recovery to rapid growth.

Last fall, the company launched a $100 million venture capital fund—its first—dedicated to investing in early-stage companies developing new diagnostics, therapeutics and digital tools and devices for minimally invasive surgeries.

More recently, in a call with investors following the release of Intuitive’s second-quarter earnings report, Guthart outlined the company’s ongoing innovation and commercialization efforts, which include pursuing global regulatory clearance of the latest updates to its robotic surgery systems, adding new clinical indications to its existing systems and launching its Ion lung biopsy robot.

Those updates come not a moment too soon, as competitor Medtronic began performing the first operations with its own robotic-assisted surgery system earlier this summer. In contrast to Intuitive’s market-dominating Da Vinci systems, Medtronic’s Hugo platform is designed to be compact and mobile, allowing it to be moved throughout a hospital and therefore reducing the costs of buying a robotic system for each operating room.