BOSTON—Harvard Business School (HBS) professor of management practice Bill George (MBA 1966), an authority on leadership and the former chairman and CEO of the Medtronic Corporation, has received the 2014 Bower Award for Business Leadership from The Franklin Institute. The award will be formally presented in Philadelphia next April.
Founded in Philadelphia in honor of Benjamin Franklin, the Franklin Institute is one of the oldest and most prominent centers of science education and development in the United States. Past honorees include Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell; Bill Gates, founder and chairman of Microsoft; Gordon Moore, cofounder and chairman emeritus of Intel; David Packard, one of the founding fathers of Hewlett-Packard; Roy Vagelos, former president, CEO, and chairman of Merck; and the late Jim Burke (MBA 1949), former CEO of Johnson & Johnson.
George was recognized “for his visionary leadership of Medtronic Corporation, his promotion and writings on corporate social responsibility and leadership, as well as his extraordinary philanthropic contributions to education and health care through the George Family Foundation.”
The Bower Award for Business Leadership was established in 1990 through a bequest from the Henry Bower, a noted Philadelphia chemical manufacturer. Other Franklin Institute Awards honor achievement in a number of scientific fields, including chemistry, physics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, life science, and earth and environmental science.
A member of the Harvard Business School faculty since 2004, George is currently faculty chair of the HBS executive education program Authentic Leadership Development and cochair of another executive program called Leading Global Enterprises. He is the author of Authentic Leadership; True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership; 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis; and most recently, True North Groups.
George joined Medtronic in 1989 as president and chief operating officer and was CEO from 1991 to 2001 and chairman of the board from 1996 to 2002. Earlier in his career, he was an executive with Honeywell and Litton Industries and served in the US Department of Defense. He is a director of ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs, and the Mayo Clinic and is a trustee of the World Economic Forum USA and the Guthrie Theater. George was formerly a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
He founded the George Family Foundation in 1994 with his wife, Penny, to support innovative ideas in integrative health, leadership development, social justice and spirituality in everyday life.