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  • The News Journal: DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman called a 'hero'

    May 18, 2015

    To du Pont family member Tatiana Copeland, the DuPont Co.'s chief executive, Ellen Kullman, emerged Wednesday as "the hero of America." "She's the female John Wayne," Copeland said of Kullman after the company's annual meeting, where DuPont beat back activist investor Nelson Peltz and his Trian Fund Management in its bid to get four seats on the company's board. "She didn't flinch."

  • Zach Clayton: Building Business the Right Way

    Apr 1, 2015

    From, posted March 31, 2015. Someone recently asked me if it was a disadvantage that Three Ships didn’t have venture capitalists. I laughed and thought about something Jim Goodnight, Founder of SAS, once told me. “I didn’t know what venture capital was when I started SAS,” he said and then paused dramatically. With a big grin, he then pronounced: “I’m sure glad I didn’t.”

  • StarTribune: Bill George: Strong female leadership sets Twin Cities apart

    Sep 15, 2014

    What makes the Twin Cities so vibrant and progressive? First, great institutions in business, education, health care, government, the arts and social services. Second, extraordinary leaders who built these organizations. While we have had exceptional male leaders, what makes the Twin Cities stand out are the many women who have built these organizations as CEOs, board chairs and presidents. In no other major city have women leaders had as great an impact.

  • HBR: The Conversation We Should Be Having About Corporate Taxes

    Aug 22, 2014

    The corporate inversion, when a U.S. company takes on the legal identity of foreign subsidiary, usually in order to reduce its taxes, has become about as controversial as corporate finance topics get. President Obama has called such transactions “unpatriotic.” Others have defended them as a way for American companies to stay competitive in the face of a uniquely intrusive tax code. Harvard Business School’s Mihir Desai and Bill George both fall mostly in the second camp, but with some surprising twists that came out when I spoke with them recently. 

  • Star Tribune: Upset stockholders confront Medtronic executives

    Aug 22, 2014

    Medtronic Inc. chief executive Omar Ishrak heard an earful from stockholders who got their first chance Thursday to directly question the company’s planned purchase of an Irish company. Medtronic’s $43 billion deal to buy Covidien Inc. has drawn enormous media and political scrutiny as one of a growing number of U.S. companies purchasing firms in countries with lower tax rates, then relocating their legal headquarters abroad to take advantage of those rates.

  • Twin Cities: Medtronic stock owners criticize deal, fearing tax hit

    Aug 22, 2014

    Frustrated Medtronic shareholders on Thursday questioned a proposed acquisition that would relocate the Fridley based company's executive office to Ireland and sock some of them with possibly hefty capital gains tax bills. "This is the least shareholder friendly proposal I have ever seen," Arthur Binger, 79, of Maple Grove said, drawing applause from a crowd gathered for Medtronic's annual shareholder meeting in Mounds View.

  • The Boston Globe: More US firms chase mergers that yield overseas address

    Jul 14, 2014

    Good article from The Boston Globe on the renewed interest in "tax inversions," and my thoughts on why acquisitions must never be just about driving deals ... When Flemming Ornskov was named chief executive of Shire PLC last year, he moved his office from the drug maker’s Dublin headquarters to its Lexington campus so he could scout for biotechs to buy here. Now Shire itself is a takeover target. It rebuffed a $46 billion bid from pharmaceutical giant AbbVie Inc. of Chicago late last month, but the suitor hasn’t given up. It’s not only after Shire’s drug portfolio, but also the company’s address in Ireland, where corporate taxes are lower.

  • NY Times DealBook: Former Medtronic C.E.O. Defends Inversion Deal

    Jun 16, 2014

    From The New York Times DealBook, June 16, 2014. Bill George, a former chief executive of the medical device maker Medtronic, came out last month against Pfizer’s proposed inversion, a deal to acquire an overseas competitor and reincorporate abroad, lowering tax rates and freeing up overseas cash. “Is the role of leading large pharmaceutical companies to discover lifesaving drugs or to make money for shareholders through financial engineering?” Mr. George wrote on DealBook. “Does anyone believe pharmaceutical companies can create long term shareholder value by chasing lower tax venues and cutting research and development spending?”

  • CNBC: Medtronic’s $43B Covidien deal—and Irish tax move

    Jun 16, 2014

    From CNBC, June 16, 2014. Medtronic, the world's biggest medical devices maker by sales, will buy Ireland based rival Covidien in a $42.9 billion agreement that could increase concerns about the rush of U.S. companies striking deals to cut their tax bills. The deal, announced late Sunday, involves Medtronic paying $35.19 in cash and 0.956 of an ordinary share of Medtronic to Covidien shareholders, a premium of 29 percent to the Ireland based company's closing stock price on Friday.

  • Seeking Alpha: Medtronic - Ultimate Success Of Covidien Acquisition Relies On Still Unknown Revenue Synergies

    Jun 16, 2014

    From Seeking Alpha, June 16, 2014. On Sunday Medtronic announced that it will acquire Covidien PLC in an attempt to create a huge global medical device supplier. Medtronic is paying a relatively steep premium to acquire Covidien which cannot be entirely rationalized by cost savings, as tax synergies will be limited despite the "inversion" move to Ireland. The ultimate success of the deal depends on the size of revenue synergies, something which the company has not yet elaborated on.