CEO Circle – Bill George
Former CEO of Medtronic
Bill is a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, where he has taught leadership since 2004. He is the author of: Discover Your True North and The Discover Your True North Fieldbook, Authentic Leadership, True North, Finding Your True North, 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis and True North Groups.
Bill is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic. He joined Medtronic in 1989 as president and chief operating officer, was chief executive officer from 1991-2001, and board chair from 1996-2002. Earlier in his career, he was a senior executive with Honeywell and Litton Industries and served in the U.S. Department of Defense.
Bill has served on the boards of Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil, Novartis, Target Corporation, and the World Economic Forum USA. He recently concluded his term as a trustee of the Mayo Clinic, and has been board chair for Allina Health System, Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, United Way of the Greater Twin Cities, and Advamed.
In 2014, the Franklin Institute awarded him the Bower Award for Business Leadership. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2012, and was named one of the “Top 25 Business Leaders of the Past 25 Years” by PBS; “Executive of the Year-2001” by the Academy of Management; and “Director of the Year-2001-02” by the National Association of Corporate Directors. In 2018, Bill was presented with the Larry Foster Award for Integrity in Public Communication by the Arthur W. Page Center. Bill is a CNBC Contributor and makes frequent appearances on television and radio.
He received his BSIE with high honors from Georgia Tech, his MBA with high distinction from Harvard University, where he was a Baker Scholar, and honorary PhDs from Georgia Tech, Mayo Medical School, University of St. Thomas, Augsburg College and Bryant University. During 2002-03 he was professor at IMD International and Ecole Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland, and executive-in-residence at Yale School of Management.
He and his wife Penny reside in Minneapolis, Minnesota.