“Adversity: Building the Scaffolding of Our Souls “
May 25, 2023
Carol Malnati. Retired VP, Medtronic Cardiac
“Adversity: Building the Scaffolding of Our Souls “

For more than 30 years, Carol Malnati had a career innovating lifesaving medical devices that help hearts to beat correctly. In other words, Carol spent her career ‘fixing broken hearts’.  She started her career at Medtronic creating what would become the company’s first implantable defibrillator, a small device that regulates deadly-fast  heart rhythms. Carol is a transformational leader who helped take the defibrillator business from a start-up to its multi-billion-dollar cornerstone business of Medtronic’s global portfolio.

As Vice President of R&D for the Cardiac businesses, she led the activities of the 1,800-person engineering organization and was responsible for delivering all new product development efforts.  She was the first woman in Medtronic’s history to hold a position that oversees five levels of engineering leadership, Medtronic’s largest R&D organization.  

Regarded as a strong technical leader and advocate for innovation, her technical career is punctuated with delivering the first-ever minimally invasive defibrillator eliminating the need for a patient sternotomy, creating the world’s smallest battery for the world’s smallest pacemaker - the Micra™, advancing technologies to enabled product downsizing by 85%, advancing cybersecurity safety and championing change for the next gen architectures.

Carol has been honored with many Medtronic technical awards and numerous STEM diversity leadership awards.  She has received global honors from the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) for STEM Champion and received the prestigious Society of Women Engineers Upward Mobility Award. 

Carol currently serves on the advisory board for the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering, her alma mater.

Carol graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Electrical Engineering.  She and her husband reside in New Brighton, Minnesota and are actively involved in the lives of their four adult children.  They are avid hockey players and youth hockey volunteers, and enjoy golfing, rock climbing, fishing, scuba diving and seeking new adventures.