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  • 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.

  • Bloomberg: Medtronic to Buy Device Maker Covidien for $42.9 Billion

    Jun 16, 2014

    From Bloomberg, June 16, 2014. Medtronic Inc. (MDT), the second largest maker of medical devices, agreed to buy Covidien Plc (COV) for $42.9 billion in cash and stock as it transforms into a broader based company bolstered by new tax advantages. Medtronic will pay the equivalent of $93.22 for each share of Dublin based Covidien, or about 29 percent more than Covidien’s New York closing price of $72.02 on June 13, the companies said yesterday in a statement. The combined company, called Medtronic Plc, will be based for tax purposes in Ireland.

  • Peer or Expert?

    Feb 26, 2013

    By Leo Bottary for, published February 10, 2013 Last summer, I wrote a post titled: What Does It Take to be a Great Chair?  I wasn’t talking about a piece of furniture and the requirements of four strong legs and a comfortable seat.  I was referring of course to Vistage Chairs who professionally facilitate CEO and key executive peer advisory boards here in the U.S. and around the world.  

  • Board Governance Depends On Where You Sit

    Feb 13, 2013

    Board governance  is frequently discussed and often misunderstood. In this article, I offer an insider’s perspective on the topic. Over the years, I have had the privilege of serving on ten corporate boards, as well as being chairman and CEO of Medtronic, chairman only, and CEO only. I have also observed dozens of boards from outside the boardroom and engaged in numerous confidential conversations with members of these boards about the challenges they faced and how they handled them.

  • The Self-Esteem of Leadership

    Jan 18, 2013

    Pamela Hawley is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving. In her continuing series on “7 Minutes with a CEO,” she interviewed preeminent thought leader, Bill George. Below is her interview with the former CEO of Medtronics and current professor at Harvard Business School.  She spoke with Bill about leadership and why he thinks self esteem (a rare word in leadership) is one of the most important qualities. 

  • 5 Ways to Evaluate Investor Alignment Before They Write a Check

    Dec 28, 2012

    “Do your shareholders choose you or do you choose them?  Sophisticated CEOs choose their investors by defining their particular business approach and strategy and ensuring that their investors are aligned with that program.” Bill George, former Medtronic CEO

  • Integrative Medicine and the Transformation of Healthcare

    Dec 7, 2012

    IMAGINE for a moment…that you have been diagnosed with cancer and you want to be dealt with as a whole human being, connected in body, mind and spirit. But your treatment considers you only as a disease and a compromised body part.