Medtronic names GE health exec its new CEO

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Medtronic Inc <MDT.N> named a top executive of General Electric Co's <GE.N> healthcare division as its CEO and chairman, effective June 13.

Omar Ishrak will succeed William Hawkins, whose intention to retire was announced by Medtronic in December, Medtronic said on Wednesday.

Ishrak has been president and CEO of GE Healthcare Systems, a $12 billion division of GE Healthcare, where he has worked since 1995. The healthcare systems division's technologies include magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound and molecular imaging.

Separately, GE Healthcare named Tom Gentile, currently vice president of GE Aviation's Services division, as president of the Healthcare Systems division, replacing Ishrak.

The appointment of a new CEO of Medtronic, the world's largest stand-alone medical device maker, has been closely watched by investors and analysts, some of whom have called for a break up of the company.

Medtronic's announcement comes a day after rival device maker Boston Scientific Corp <BSX.N> said Chief Executive Ray Elliott will step down at the end of 2011 after less than two years at the helm, sending its shares sharply lower.

Medtronic shares were up 15 cents at $42.80 in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Maureen Bavdek)