The Board of Directors (the 'Board') of Medtronic, Inc. (the 'Company') has adopted the following Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (the 'Code ') for directors of the Company. This Code is intended to focus the Board and each director on areas of ethical risk, provide guidance to directors to help them recognize and deal with ethical issues, provide mechanisms to report unethical conduct, and help foster a culture of honesty and accountability. Each director must comply with the letter and spirit of this Code.
No code or policy can anticipate every situation that may arise. Accordingly, this Code is intended to serve as a source of guiding principles for directors. Directors are encouraged to bring questions about particular circumstances that may implicate one or more of the provisions of this Code to the attention of the Chairman of the Audit Committee, who may consult with inside or outside legal counsel as appropriate.
Directors who also serve as officers of the Company should read this Code in conjunction with the Company's Code of Conduct.
The Board represents the interests of shareholders, as owners of a corporation, in optimizing long-term value by overseeing management performance on the shareholders' behalf. The Board's responsibilities in performing this oversight function include a duty of care and a duty of loyalty.
A director's duty of care refers to the responsibility to exercise appropriate diligence in overseeing the management of the Company, making decisions and taking other actions. In meeting the duty of care, directors are expected to:
A director's duty of loyalty refers to the responsibility to act in good faith and in the Company's best interests, not the interests of the director, a family member or an organization with which the director is affiliated. Directors should not use their positions for personal gain. The duty of loyalty may be relevant in cases of conflict of interest (section 2 below), and corporate opportunities (section 3 below).
Directors must avoid any conflicts of interest between the director and the Company. Any situation that involves, or may reasonably be expected to involve, a conflict of interest with the Company, should be disclosed promptly to the Chairman of the Audit Committee.
A 'conflict of interest' can occur when a director's personal interest is adverse to – or may appear to be adverse to – the interests of the Company as a whole. Conflicts of interest also arise when a director, or a member of his or her immediate family1, receives improper personal benefits as a result of his or her position as a director of the Company.
This Code does not attempt to describe all possible conflicts of interest that could develop. Some of the more common conflicts from which directors must refrain, however, are set out below.
1 New York Stock Exchange Rule 303A.02 defines 'immediate family' to include a person's spouse, parents, children, siblings, mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law, sons and daughters-in-law, brothers and sisters-in-law, and anyone (other than domestic employees) who share such person's home.
Directors are prohibited from: (a) taking for themselves personally opportunities related to the Company's business; (b) using the Company's property, information, or position for personal gain; or (c) competing with the Company for business opportunities, provided, however, if the Company's disinterested directors determine that the Company will not pursue an opportunity that relates to the Company's business, a director may do so.
Directors should maintain the confidentiality of information entrusted to them by the Company and any other confidential information about the Company that comes to them, from whatever source, in their capacity as a director, except when disclosure is authorized or legally mandated. For purposes of this Code, 'confidential information' includes all non-public information relating to the Company.
Directors shall comply, and oversee compliance by employees, officers and other directors, with laws, rules and regulations applicable to the Company, including insider trading laws. Transactions in Company securities are governed by the Company’s Code of Conduct.
Directors shall oversee fair dealing by employees and officers with the Company's customers, suppliers, competitors and employees.
Directors should promote ethical behavior and take steps to ensure the Company: (a) encourages employees to talk to supervisors, managers and other appropriate personnel when in doubt about the best course of action in a particular situation; (b) encourages employees to report violations of laws, rules, regulations or the Company's Code of Conduct to appropriate personnel; and (c) informs employees that the Company will not allow retaliation for reports made in good faith.
Directors should communicate any suspected violations of this Code promptly to the Chairman of the Audit Committee and the Chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee. Violations will be investigated by the Board or by a person or persons designated by the Board and appropriate action will be taken in the event of any violations of the Code.
The Audit Committee will consider any request for a waiver of the provisions of this Code. Waivers may only be granted by the Board or the Audit Committee after disclosure of all material facts by the director seeking the waiver. Waivers will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and will be disclosed promptly to shareholders.