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Bill George

Harvard Business School Professor, former Medtronic CEO

Star Tribune: Why Earl Bakken’s Legacy Will Enhance Minnesota For Years To Come

Bakken was always two decades ahead of his time, causing many people to doubt his ideas, but he never wavered, Bill George writes. Earl Bakken’s death on Oct. 21 at his beloved Hawaii home sent reverberations back to Minnesota. He leaves behind a powerful legacy that will impact Minnesotans for generations to come. Having known…

Lead True: Authentic Leadership Rediscovered

Following Your True North through Real-World Challenges My New eBook – Published September 12, 2018 Lead True, my new eBook, is now available for FREE download. To get your copy, follow the link at the end of this article. I decided to make it free so more leaders like you will read it. My only…

Integrative Health Philanthropist Earl Bakken Bids Adieu at 94

“Earl Bakken was a man and a legend.” So wrote integrative medicine philanthropist Penny George in a e-note following news that the founder of the now $27-billion Medtronic had died at 94 in his home on his beloved island of Hawaii. “Earl is also a testament to integrative care. He accumulated a number of serious health problems with which…

Forbes: Discover Your True North

For any leader at any level in any organization, clarity of purpose is a critical ingredient of success. In other words, you must know where you’re headed and why you’re headed there. A compass provides the ideal metaphor. Just as a compass points toward a magnetic field, your personal “true north” directs your path and…

CNBC: Tesla’s Real Problem Isn’t Its Shareholders

After a flurry of activity with bankers, investors and the Tesla board, Elon Musk announced last Friday that he had changed his mind and Tesla would continue to be a public company. Musk should stop worrying about beating the short sellers and focus entirely on rebuilding Tesla’s depleted leadership ranks. Tesla board needs to be…

CNBC: Tesla Needs Experienced Automobile Experts

Bill George, former Medtronic chairman and Harvard Business School professor, and CNBC’s Phil LeBeau joins the ‘Squawk on the Street’ team to discuss what Elon Musk and the Tesla board need to do to bring Tesla back. Tesla needs experienced automobile experts, says former Medtronic chairman from CNBC. This content was originally posted on CNBC.com…

CNBC: Be Like Jeff Bezos and Educate Shareholders to Not Care About Quarterly Profits: Expert

Bill George, former Medtronic CEO, and William Cohan, author of “Why Wall Street Matters,” debate whether it’s better for companies to report earnings twice or four times a year, after President Trump tweeted his support of biannual earnings.   Be like Jeff Bezos and educate shareholders to not care about quarterly profits: Expert from CNBC….

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: Uncertainty and Tariffs Already Hurting Businesses, says Pro

Walter Isaacson, Perella Weinberg, and Bill George, former Medtronic CEO, discuss President Trump’s latest attack on a company for the way they run their business with Harley-Davidson in the crosshairs. Uncertainty and tariffs already hurting businesses, says pro from CNBC. This content was originally posted on CNBC.com on 6/27/18.

CNBC: Resignation a Tragedy for Both Intel and Krzanich

Bill George, former Medtronic CEO, and Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Yale School of Management, discuss Intel’s Brian Krzanich resignation and what it means for the outlook of the tech company. This content was originally posted on CNBC.com on 6/21/18.

CNBC: Howard Schultz has Tremendous Skills that Would Transfer to Politics

Bill George, former Medtronic CEO, and Jerry Storch, Storch Advisors CEO and former Toys R Us CEO, discuss Howard Schultz stepping down as Starbucks executive chairman and the potential for him to launch a political campaign. This content was originally posted on CNBC.com on 6/5/18. 

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…

CNBC: What the T-Mobile Deal for Sprint Means for Wireless

Tim Wu, Columbia Law School professor, and Bill George, former Medtronic CEO, discuss the $26 billion deal for T-Mobile to acquire Sprint and what it means for consumers and competitive pricing between mobile carriers. What the T-Mobile deal for Sprint means for wireless from CNBC. This content was originally posted on CNBC.com on 4/30/18. 

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…

StarTribune: A Salute to the Mayo Clinic’s Retiring Servant-Leader

How Dr. John Noseworthy’s mission-focused approach can aid Minnesota’s world-class medical sector and other fields as well.  By Bill George and Richard Davis Minnesota has earned a national and global reputation for its leadership in health care, research, medical innovation and the biosciences. Minnesotans can take great pride in knowing that millions of people throughout…

Mass Device: Ex-Medtronic Chief George: CEOs Can Do More on Gun Control

Former Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) CEO William George said last week that the CEOs of corporate America can have a larger impact than the U.S. Congress when it comes to gun control. “All of Congress is afraid of the NRA, so I’m worried about getting something done there,” George told CNBC last week. “CEOs can do a lot more…

CNBC: Ex-CEO: Companies should take a stand on gun control — sell if you don’t like it

The best-run companies have leaders willing to take a stand on societal issues such as gun control, Bill George says. “This is what motives your employees,” the former Medtronic chief says. “This is what inspires your customers.” The best-run companies have leaders willing to take a stand on societal issues such as gun control, former Medtronic chairman…

HBSWK: Black Business Leaders Series: Oprah’s Path to Authentic Leadership

Oprah Winfrey believes in sharing the experiences that led her to become the wealthiest woman in the entertainment industry and the first African American woman billionaire. Professor Bill George traces her growth from childhood, focusing on how and when she discovered her true voice and how that authenticity spurred her career success. Brian Kenny: See if…