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Bill George
Scholar/Former CEO

Bill George

Bill George is a management professor at the Harvard Business School, the former Chairman and CEO of Medtronic, Inc., and the author of several best-selling books on leadership. His latest release is 7 Lessons for
Leading in Crisis

Walmart CEO Lee Scott

Lee Scott, outgoing CEO of WalMart, gets my vote for the top leader of 2008.
In a world where short-term economic players led the U.S. to the brink of disaster, Scott's steady hand on the wheel of WalMart enabled the company to post record results and gain significant share of market.

When he took over as CEO, Scott inherited some severe employee problems as WalMart's growth overtook its human resource capability. Scott continued to expand WalMart's employee base -- now more than 2 million -- settled all the outstanding cases, and took a public stance to pay his employees well while advocating for increases in the minimum wage.

Most importantly of all, he has completed his tenure on a high note and groomed a well-qualified successor in Michael Duke. The world needs more long-term leaders like Lee Scott.

By Bill George

 |  December 30, 2008; 10:21 AM ET
Category:  Leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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It is sad and/or ignorant commentary for the American people to recognize Walmart as anything but counter productive for America's future.

Walmart does NOT provide health care, instead insisting that it's employees in need use up the U.S. medicare assistance already under tremendous strain, meanwhile extracting more profit from the prevented medical expenses.

Lets not forget the class action lawsuit also just won by employees against Walmart for NOT paying required overtime.

And last but not least, lets not forget the several PBS documentaries concerning Walmart forcing it's suppliers to relocate to China for cheap labor and lower costs for it's goods, short-changing the Amercan factory worker and forcing layoffs here within the United States.

If this is the American Dream - I don't want ANY part of United States anymore.

The greed is sickening and reckless !!!

Posted by: danglingwrangler | January 1, 2009 11:52 PM
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Gosh, I'm surprised to read this. I was under the impression that Walmart was one of those corporate predators that functioned along the lines of a shark, which has to keep moving or die(feeding on the corpses of small business, I mean.)

I certainly can't recall hearing anybody characterize the company as 'worker-friendly'.

Maybe Bill George knows something I don't. After all, he's a professor at the Harvard Business School. And former CEO of Medtronic Inc.

By the way, is there a WalMart in Harvard Square? And if there is, does it sell any of Medtronics' products at 40% off?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 1, 2009 9:14 PM
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I suggest Mr. George should go to work for Walmart and try to survive on what their workers are paid. Give me a break.

Posted by: fabricmaven1 | January 1, 2009 7:18 PM
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Lee Scott? You must be kidding! Ask and rank and file Wal Mart employee about Lee Scott and you'll get an earfull - none of it positive.

As a CEO he kept his stock price stagnenet, had huge employee lawsuits to deal with and gave lip service to stopping the illegal practices he was being sued for and made himself multi millions of dollars in salary and stock on the backs of store workers who barely make minimum wage, can't afford the health insurance offered by Wal Mart and are now being forced to be part time employees (Wal Mart's goal is to have a work force of part timers because they cost the company less).

Lee Scott is hardly a leader - he was a slave driver who put profit above the welfare of his employees.

What is the Post thinking about? Isn't there a more deserving business person out there to nominate?

Posted by: stephenrhymer | January 1, 2009 1:16 PM
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Lee Scott, during his tenure was nothing more then a puppet with the strings being pulled by the most parasitic family in the world, the offspring and wife of Sam Walton.

A miserly family of multi-billionaire terrorists, that epitomize greed, exploitation of workers and works everyday towards the ultimate destruction of America.

Posted by: nonneocon | January 1, 2009 1:08 PM
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A family of billionaires nickel and dimes their workers, who must take Public Assistance to make ends meet. What is so damn noble about that? How does that help anyone except the Red Commies and the Waltons? Is the accumulation of money the sole criterion for your choosers? What kind of values are those?

Posted by: gkam | January 1, 2009 12:15 PM
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Has the "public stance to pay his employees well" translated to improved wages and benefits for those employees?

Did WalMart stop forcing many employees into part time, no benefits positions?

Did WalMart really end off the clock work, or are managers still pressured to do this to meet goals?

Has WalMart made any attempt to really make work hour scheduling employee friendly?

WalMart's employee problems did not appear to be the result of growth, but of conscious practices aimed at lowering costs on the back off those employees. No amount of whitewash will coverup those practices.

Posted by: charlessmith8 | December 31, 2008 6:25 PM
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