George David Steps Out
I read your story about George David of United Technologies Corp., Chief Executive's CEO of the Year, with great interest and pride. In an era of turbulent times for many CEOs, his record inspires those of us in business and business education.
At Darden, we've had the privilege to know and work with George (Darden, Class of '67) and have long admired him. His individual talents are remarkable, especially his ability to propel others to exceptional levels of aspiration and performance, and his high standards and belief in learning have paid off for UTC, its employees and its shareholders.
Those exceptional traits have also paid off for Darden. As one token of recognition, Darden awarded George its highest alumni honor in 2003. He has personally recruited students, appeared in Darden classes, supported executive education programs for UTC at Darden, and chaired our trustee board. The list goes on. His financial support made a vital addition to our facilities possible, and he graciously requested that it be named after our school's founding dean, Charles C. Abbott. This act honors our school's values and serves as a testament to George's elevation of mission and results above personal agenda.
I thank you for recognizing George, and I thank George for his extraordinary example and leadership.
Robert S. Harris
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia
I don't always get to read all the pages of Chief Executive, but you caught my eye with the reference to Eliot Spitzer. Here's the question I would have liked to throw back at him: If you are sworn to uphold the laws and the U.S. Constitution, etc., why do you make the knee-jerk presumption of CEO guilt? (Good thing you didn't sling back-you could have ended up in his court with RICO charges.)
Misuse of power is misuse of power, whether done in the name of a corporation, a government, a family, a religion, etc. This sounds like a massive case of projective identification to me.
The difference between a functional organization and a dysfunctional one is that functional ones have balance between forward motion and thoughlful restraint. With corporations, the board and executive team at least have the option of diversity of style that would create that balance. (Enron didn't, hence the weak and toolate entry of their whistle-blower.) Government has no such rules.
Most heads of agencies rule with the iron fist they project onto those who work in the private sector, both the managerial CEOs and the entrepreneurial ones. But without the cooperation of the team, nothing good happens in any organization -especially the entrepreneurial ones where people work more for love than immediate compensation. There's no such need in government, where you're forced to prepay, via taxes, for services you may not want, that aren't productive, that are run inefficiently at best and are often dangerous -and where you can't even get the protections afforded a minority shareholder.
Keep up the good work. I learn a lot from you.
Dr. Janice Presser
President & CEO
The Gabriel Institute
I read your "Editor's Note" in the May 2005 issue. While I agree wholeheartedly with your comments regarding Eliot Spitzer, I cannot help but wonder how you and your magazine justify the CEO of the Year award given to Hank Greenberg two years ago given that so many of the measurement criteria that earned him the title appear to have been fabricated? Is this award worth the risk to the recipient or the publication?
I am the CEO of a small, privately held organization. I do not face the pressures of the public markets. Like the vast majority of my peers at companies of all sizes, I am honest and hardworking for the benefit of our employees, customers, shareholders and the company alike. …