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Bill George

Harvard Business School Professor, former Medtronic CEO

Articles

The Real Tragedy of Elizabeth Holmes

On Monday, January 3, a jury found Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes guilty of four counts of criminal fraud. She faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for each count. But the real tragedy goes much deeper. Had the company not failed in 2016, it could have caused enormous harm to unsuspecting patients who believed…

In GE’s Split, Some See End of Sprawling Industrial Conglomerates

General Electric Co. GE -0.80% ’s decision to break apart reignites the question of the best structure for business: fit and focused, or diversified. GE, GE -0.80% in its announcement Tuesday to separate into three public companies, follows German engineering giant Siemens AG , chemical conglomerate DowDuPont Inc. and others in shrinking by spinning off divisions or forming separate entities. Other large industrial companies, including Emerson Electric Co. , have made moves…

‘The End of the GE We Knew’: Breakup Turns a Page in Modern Business History

General Electric Co., the company that for more than a century stood as a beacon of U.S. manufacturing might and management prowess, will split into three public companies, drawing the curtain on an era of modern business—the dominance of industrial conglomerates. The decision, announced Tuesday by Chief Executive Larry Culp, ends the myth that GE wielded a…

What’s Behind the Labor Shortage?

Most employers are having trouble finding enough qualified employees to run their businesses, but the reasons may not be what you think. The shortages are most apparent in the hospitality industry, but in truth they are impacting all industries. There are plenty of people qualified to do the jobs that go unfilled, but they sit…

Fortune: It’s Time for CEOs to Mandate COVID Vaccinations for All Employees

What is more important for your business than the health and safety of your employees and your customers? America is seeing a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, due to the Delta variant impacting the unvaccinated. The 7-day average for COVID cases is currently over 100,000, with an average of 472 deaths per day. Over…

Can One Leader Make a Difference in Today’s World?

We remember how Jack Welch transformed General Electric during his twenty years at the helm, turning it into the world’s most valuable private corporation with the power of his brilliance and his powerful, dynamic personality. While Welch’s managerial style worked well in the last half of the 20th century, it seems unlikely it would work today…

Fortune: When Should CEOs Speak Out on Public Issues?

Late last week, Texas and Florida joined Georgia and Arizona in passing laws that restrict voter access to the polls. In response, a wide swath of corporate leaders have voiced their opposition. CEOs are increasingly being called upon to comment publicly on complex policy issues, yet the decision to get personally involved is a difficult one for…

The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely

A great debate is raging in organizations about whether employees will return to their offices or continue to work remotely once COVID-19 is under control and most people are vaccinated. Gartner’s recent survey finds that about 70% of employees wish to continue some form of remote work.  Twitter, Oracle and Google have already given their…

With Georgia Voting Law, the Business of Business Becomes Politics

Coca-Cola and Delta received blowback from both left and right for their response to Georgia’s new voting law. Engaging on social issues is now part of the CEO job description, but it’s a treacherous path. Big consumer brands like Coca-Cola Co. KO 0.18% and Delta Air Lines Inc. DAL -2.01% for years have positioned themselves as forces for promoting what they see as social good—an…