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Bill George

Harvard Business School Professor, former Medtronic CEO

CNBC: Bill George: Trump is Right, Drug Prices are Out of Control

Bill George, CNBC contributor and former Medtronic CEO, discusses President Trump’s rhetoric on prescription drug pricing in the country. Bill George: Trump is right, drug prices are out of control from CNBC. This content was originally posted on on 10/17/17.

HBSWK: Dangers of Stereotyping People

Was Google CEO Sundar Pichai right to fire engineer James Damore after his condemnation of the company’s diversitry initiatives? Of course, answersBill George; treating colleagues as gender stereotypes rather than as individuals poisons the workplace. Google software engineer James Damore’s ten-page manifesto excoriating his employer for its diversity initiatives incited a major controversy in August about affirmative…

Daily Mail: Top CEOs Reveal the four Qualities You Should Highlight on Your CV to Prove You’re a Future Leader (and Your Love of Twitter is One of Them)

CEOs have revealed skills leaders need to succeed in modern workplace People should focus on how they can contribute to company’s sense of ‘purpose’ Using social media is key way to engage with peers and gather information  Showing that you’re constantly learning is a way to prove leadership qualities Every jobseeker wants to make their…

Questions to Help You Discover Your True North: Part VI

If you follow my blog, Twitter feed, or Facebook page, you’ll notice a constant theme: Discover Your True North. Both leaders and corporations have to develop a True North that follows their unique principles. If you try to ‘fake it until you make it,’ you won’t just be unsuccessful; you’ll also be miserable. How can you discover…

StarTribune: Mayo Is Putting Patients First in Southern Minnesota

By Bradbury H. Anderson , Richard K. Davis , Michael Dougherty , Bill George and Marilyn Carlson Nelson Instead of hospitals in neighboring communities like those in Albert Lea and Austin competing, they must collaborate and share certain services. We’re still investing in Albert Lea, and we’ve identified a way to keep 95 percent of…

CNBC: The Business Economy Drives our Economy

Steve Odland, former Office Depot CEO and Bill George, former Medtronic CEO, weigh in on President Trump’s relationship with business leaders. This content was originally posted on on 8/22/17.

Vanity Fair: CEOs Agree to Disagree on Giving Racists a Free Pass

By Bess Levin Last week, in the wake of Donald Trump’s decision not to disavow white nationalists (and assorted Hitlerian fellow travelers), dozens of C.E.O.s who had signed on to the president’s two business councils resigned in protest, with many of them condemning the response from the White House. Not everyone thought that was the…

A Courageous Leader Triggers a Moral Revolt Among CEOs

Nothing like this has happened in the past fifty years. Forty-three CEOs of major American corporations revolted against the president this week by shutting down two presidential advisory councils. In so doing, they may have created an unprecedented gulf between the White House and the business community. It all came down to moral leadership. When…

Politicsay: Trump’s Business Councils Disband; What it Means

By William Hadden Two of President Trump’s business advisory councils disbanded Wednesday, signaling what could be a shift by the corporate world away from the president. The Strategic and Policy Forum and the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative dissolved after several several members stepped down in response to Trump’s comments regarding violent protests in Charlottesville, Va. last Saturday. The…

HBSWK: Op-Ed: Courageous Leader Triggers a Moral Revolt of CEOs Against Trump

CEOs are responsible to uphold their company’s mission and values, saysBill George. When these values are violated, even by the president of the United States, they are obliged to take a clear stand. Nothing like this has happened in 50 years. Forty-three CEOs of major American corporations revolted against President Trump this week, which led to the shutdown of…

WSJ: Apple’s Cook Joins Business Leaders Criticizing Trump’s Remarks

In email to employees, CEO says company will contribute $1 million each to Southern Poverty Law Center, Anti-Defamation League. By Tripp Mickle and Kelsey Gee Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook joined the chorus of high-profile business leaders who have felt compelled to share their views on Donald Trump’s response to Saturday’s white-supremacist protests amid widespread unease on the part…

CNBC: CEOs Do Not Fear This President: Bill George

Bill George, former Medtronic CEO, discusses CEOs exiting the President’s council after his remarks on Charlottesville. This content was originally on CNBC’s Closing Bell on 8/16/17. 

When Should CEOs Take Public Stands?

When Should CEOs Take Public Stands? It depends upon when their mission and values are at stake. Merck CEO Ken Frazier resigned from President’s Trump’s Manufacturing Council on Monday, saying “As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.” As of Tuesday, five more CEOs joined Frazier in resigning from the council – Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Alliance for American Manufacturing’s Scott Paul, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, and former AFL-CIO Deputy Chief of Staff Thea Lea.

NBR: Nightly Business Report – The Google Memo and Freedom of Speech

On Nightly Business Report, tensions with North Korea ratchet up and the Dow snaps its win streak. Plus, freedom of speech or crossing the line? Why Google finds itself at the center of that debate. Watch Bill’s segment beginning at 8:33. This content was originally posted on on 8/8/17. 

CNBC: Here’s the Dilemma for GE’s New CEO

In his last earnings call as CEO, Jeff Immelt announced yet another disappointing quarter for General Electric. The pressure now mounts on Immelt’s successor, John Flannery, to put the company back on track. GE’s market capitalization tumbled $170 billion during Immelt’s tenure. This year alone, GE stock is down some 18 percent, while the S&P index…

HBSWK: Op-Ed: As America Recedes from Global Leadership, Its CEOs are Stepping Up

As America recedes from global leadership under President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies, a new generation of business statesmen is stepping up to take on global issues of monumental importance: global trade, climate change, job creation, and healthy living. At the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, earlier this month, President Trump was “odd man out”…

The Next CEO Of Uber; Here’s Who Should Be On The Short List

Faced with the crucible of his mother’s accidental death and the crisis at his company, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wisely decided to accept his investors’ advice to turn the fledgling company’s leadership over to a new CEO. Just last week Kalanick announced he was taking an indefinite leave of absence to mourn his mother’s death…

CNBC: Never Underestimate the Power of Jeff Bezos

Bill George, former Medtronic CEO, and Steve Odland, former Office Depot CEO, talk about Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods. This content was originally posted on on 6/16/17.  

CNBC: Economy Can’t Grow Without People Filling the Jobs: Pro

NBC contributor Bill George and Howard Schweitzer, former Treasury Department official under G.W. Bush, discuss whether CEOs can remain confident in President Trump after bump in… This content was originally posted on on 6/6/17. 

CNBC: Trump Exits Paris Accord, Is He Losing CEO Support?

Bill George, Harvard Business School senior fellow, weighs in on the CEO backlash against President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Accord. This content was originally posted on on 6/2/17.

CNBC: Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord

Harvard Business School’s Bill George and Ben Baldanza, former Spirit Airlines CEO, debate the President’s statement on withdrawing from the Paris accord. This content was originally posted on on 6/1/17  

A Pilgrimage through Life

This May my wife Penny and I and friends trekked 100 miles in nine days across Portugal and Spain on the famous Camino de Santiago de Compostela, also known as “The Way.” Along with thousands of others, we were pilgrims on a journey through life. Some were there for religious purposes, some for a spiritual…

Fortune: What Prince Harry’s Grief Over Princess Diana Can Teach Every Leader

Prince Harry recently shared the poignant story of his near-breakdown over his mother Diana’s death. For 20 years he attempted to bury his grief, using honorable military service and wild partying to avoid thinking about his loss. But that only led him astray. While the public tried to escape the searing memories, Prince Harry enlisted…

CNBC: Here’s The Real Loser in the GOP Health-care Reform Plan

Thursday’s 217-213 vote in the House to repeal Obamacare and replace it with the Republicans’ new health-care plan constitutes one of the largest wealth transfers in history from the poor and middle class to wealthy Americans. This will further exacerbate economic disparities in our country. Even worse, the health of our nation will likely decline…

CNBC: Bill George: The President is Distracted, Lacks Focus

Bill George, former Medtronic CEO and CNBC contributor, discusses the Trump administration’s agenda as everyone awaits the announcement of the tax plan. This content was originally posted on on 4/25/17. 

HBS: Courage: The Defining Characteristic of Great Leaders

Courage is the quality that distinguishes great leaders from excellent managers. Over the past decade, I have worked with and studied more than 200 CEOs of major companies through board service, consulting, and research as a member of Harvard Business School’s faculty. I’ve found the defining characteristic of the best ones is courage to make bold…

Should the Wells Fargo Board Be Reelected to Continue Turnaround?

Next Tuesday, April 25 is a fateful day for the board of directors of Wells Fargo. That’s the date set for the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Due to recommendations to vote against most of Wells’ board members by two shareholder advisory services – ISS and Glass Lewis – shareholders will…

CNBC: Oscar Munoz Keeps Digging the Hole Deeper

Bill George, former Medtronic CEO, discusses the backlash against United and CEO Oscar Munoz following the incident with the removal of a passenger that went viral. This content was originally posted on on 4/11/17.

Battle for the Soul of Capitalism: Part II

As it promised in February when it rejected Kraft-Heinz’s hostile takeover bid, Unilever today announced a vigorous program of enhancing its long-term shareholder value with a series of aggressive restructuring moves. In CEO Paul Polman’s announcement, he committed to: Improve operating margins from 16.4% in 2016 to 20% by 2020. Increase targeted savings in marketing…

CNBC: The Trump CEO Playbook

Heidi Messer, Collective[i] CEO, and Bill George, former Medtronic CEO, discuss the town hall meeting at the White House for CEOs and the administration’s relationships with business.

CNBC: Japanese PM Abe Key Partner for US

Bill George, former Medtronic CEO, discusses the importance of relations with Japan. Amb. Alan Wolff, former deputy U.S. Trade Representative, weighs in.

Fortune: Trump’s ‘America First’ Policy Will Give China a Big Edge Over America

The world turned upside-down last week when, within just seven days, the United States and China each reversed a posture they held for the past 70 years. In his inaugural address, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his newest slogan, “America First,” which effectively withdraws the nation from its global leadership role. Meanwhile, China is stepping up as the new leader of world economic order as President Xi Jinping accelerates China’s efforts to do business with the world, albeit one where it writes the rules to its own benefit. The consequences of these sudden changes will be profound and far-reaching with uncertain outcomes.

CNBC: Bill George: Good Politics, Bad Economics

Discussing the Trump policy ideas around trade and taxation, with Bill George, CNBC contributor and former Medtronic chairman & CEO, and Gary Hufbauer, former U.S. Treasury deputy assistant secretary for international trade.

NY Times: Call to Create Jobs, or Else, Tests Trump’s Sway

President Trump summoned the titans of American business to the White House on Monday for what was billed as a “listening session,” but it was the new president who delivered the loudest message: Bring back domestic manufacturing jobs, or face punishing tariffs and other penalties.

Boston Globe: Business Leaders Are Anxious To Avoid An Angry Call From The President-Elect

Bill George knows all about pressure from big government. When he was chief executive of medical device giant Medtronic Inc. in the 1990s, he decided to close a plant in France and move jobs to more cost-efficient sites in eastern Europe. He was promptly told by French political leaders that he would have to continue paying wages to idled workers in France for a year. It hurt, but that�s the price he had to pay.

NYT: Wary Corporate Chiefs Keep an Ear Tuned to Trump’s Messages

For all of Mr. Trump�s theatrics, the fear in the executive suites of ending up in the cross-hairs of the president-elect is real, according to Bill George, a former chief executive of Medtronic, a large medical equipment maker based in Minneapolis with over $30 billion in global revenues.

CNBC: Trump’s Changing Relationship with Business

Fred Hassan, Warburg Pincus partner & managing director, and Bill George, Harvard Business School professor, weigh in on if President-elect Donald Trump will redefine the government’s relationship with business and the Time Warner-AT&T deal.