Impaired left atrial emptying fraction (LAEF) is an important predictor of mortality in patients with heart failure. As it may reflect increased LV wall stress, it might predict ventricular arrhythmia (VA) specifically. This study evaluated the predictive value of LAEF assessed with cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging with respect to appropriate device therapy (ADT) for VA and compared its role with CMR assessed scar size and other risk factors. In total, 229 patients (68% male, 63 ± 10 years, 61% ischemic cardiomyopathy) with LV ejection fraction ≤35% who underwent CMR and implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation for primary prevention in 2005 to 2012 were included. CMR was used to quantify LV volumes and function. LV scar size was quantified when late gadolinium enhancement was available (n = 166). Maximum and minimum left atrial volumes and LAEF were calculated using the biplane area-length method. The occurrence of ADT and mortality was assessed during a median follow-up of 3.9 years. Sixty-two patients (27%) received ADT. Univariable Cox analysis showed that male gender, creatinine level, minimum left atrial volume, LAEF, and total scar size were significant predictors of ADT. In multivariable Cox analysis, LAEF (hazard ratio 0.75 per 10%, p <0.01), and scar size (hazard ratio 1.03 per g, p = 0.03) remained the only independent predictors of ADT. Patients with both LAEF > median and scar size < median were at low risk (13% ADT at 5 years), whereas those with LAEF < median and scar size > median experienced 40% ADT at 5 years (log-rank p = 0.01). In conclusion, LAEF independently predicts ADT in patients with primary prevention ICDs. Combined assessment of LAEF and scar size identifies a group with low risk of ADT. Therefore, LAEF assessment could assist in risk stratification for VA to select patients with the highest benefit from ICD implantation.