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Bill George

Harvard Business School Professor, former Medtronic CEO

Articles

CNBC: Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Proposal to Remake American Capitalism is Flawed at its Core

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday proposed The Accountable Capitalism Act – new federal legislation requiring corporations to consider the interests of employees and other stakeholders as well as shareholders. Warren’s legislation is based on the belief that CEOs have abandoned all stakeholders other than shareholders. In principle, Warren’s ideas sound good, but they are based…

CNBC: Trump’s Trade War Will Raise Prices for Consumers and Could Trigger a Recession

Relatively free trade has enabled consumers to purchase myriad products at much lower prices. This has given American consumers a much higher standard of living in a time of limited wage growth. There is a reasonable probability that the combination of inflation and higher interest rates resulting from a trade war will throw the U.S….

Forbes: Will The Real Elon Musk Please Stand Up?

By Brittain Ladd This article was originally posted on Forbes.com on 7/17/18. Elon Musk is quickly garnering a reputation for being more petulant and irritating than inspirational and worthy of praise. Stung by criticism that his mini-submarine designed to rescue the team of boys trapped in a cave in Thailand wouldn’t work, Musk sent out a Tweet…

CNBC: As Consumer Giants Struggle, Unilever Rises Above the Pack

Denise Morrison’s sudden retirement as CEO of Campbell Soup highlighted the struggles that all consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are having in today’s rapidly changing markets. Except one: Unilever. Since Paul Polman assumed the helm as CEO in January 2009, Unilever has risen above the pack with a long-term vision and consistently strong performance. In many ways, Unilever…

CNBC: Ford CEO Hackett’s Decision to Dump Cars ‘May Prove Fatal’

Ford’s new CEO, Jim Hackett, announced a bold strategic move for America’s most enduring automaker: abandoning the car business. Bowing to short-term shareholder pressures that felled predecessor Mark Fields, Hackett is undoing 115 years of Ford’s automobile legacy. A 3 percent jump in Ford’s stock price validated Hackett’s decision, but that adrenaline shot could be…

HBSWK: Op-Ed: What Mark Zuckerberg Can Learn About Crisis Leadership from Starbucks

Starbucks and Facebook present a contrast in crisis leadership, says Bill George. While Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson stepped up to take responsibility and met with victims, Mark Zuckerberg delayed action and side-stepped responsibility. Johnson & Johnson CEO Jim Burke’s leadership during the 1982 Tylenol crisis is what we at Harvard Business School teach as the standard for handling a high-stakes public crisis….

Twin Cities Business: Why Are So Many Prominent Executives Leaving Big Corporations?

LIZ FEDOR Since 2016, seven of Minnesota’s 15 largest public companies announced CEO departures. n 2017, Richard Davis left his CEO job at U.S. Bancorp, and a few months later Ken Powell gave up the CEO reins at General Mills, as did Stephen Hemsley at UnitedHealth Group. On July 1, Inge Thulin will step down…

HBSWK: Op-Ed: Why BlackRock CEO Larry Fink Is Not a Socialist

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s open letter to CEOs has reignited the “shareholders versus stakeholders” debate. Bill George says it’s actually not much of a debate: mission-driven, values-centered companies perform better. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s recent letter to all CEOs in the S&P 500 has reignited the never-ending debate of “shareholders versus stakeholders.” Titled “A Sense of Purpose,” Fink’s letter…

Washington Post: Dick’s Sporting Goods Took a Stand on Gun Sales — and Made a Big Statement

By Jena McGregor When Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward W. Stack took a stance after the Parkland, Fla., school massacre, most of the attention was on what his retail chain would stop doing: It would no longer sell assault weapons, no longer sell high-capacity magazines and no longer sell guns to customers under age 21. But Stack’s statement also was notable for what he…