William W. George

George Bill   

Executive Board Member, Advanced Leadership Initiative
Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School

Bill George is Professor of Management Practice and Henry B. Arthur Fellow of Ethics at Harvard Business School, where he is teaching leadership and leadership development. He is the author of the new best-selling leadership book, True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership. His previous book, Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value, was also a best-seller.

George is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic. He joined Medtronic in 1989 as president and chief operating officer, and was elected chief executive officer in 1991, serving in that capacity through 2001. He was chairman of the board from 1996 to 2002. Under his leadership, Medtronic's market capitalization grew from $1.1 billion to $60 billion, averaging 35% a year.

George currently serves as a director of ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs, and Novartis, as well as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and World Economic Forum USA.

During 2002 – 2003, George was Professor of Leadership and Governance at IMD International in Lausanne, Switzerland and Executive-in-Residence at Yale University's School of Management. Prior to joining Medtronic, he spent ten years as a senior executive with Honeywell and ten years with Litton Industries, primarily as president of Litton Microwave Cooking.

George received his BSIE with high honors from Georgia Tech and his MBA with high distinction from Harvard University, where he was a Baker Scholar. He has received an honorary doctorate of business administration from Bryant University. George was named Executive-of-the-Year by the Academy of Management (2001) and Director-of-the-Year by NACD (2001-2002). In 2002 George was selected as one of "The 25 Most Influential Business People of the Last 25 Years" by PBS Nightly News.