Leaders League has identified 10 heavyweight business leaders worldwide, who have all demonstrated remarkable leadership in conciliating divergent views and bringing different parties together to exert a greater impact.
Alan George Lafley
Executive Chairman, P&G
*P&G figures among the ten most valuable companies in the world (Forbes)
*Serves as a consultant on business and innovation strategy during his free time
*Received an MBA from Harvard University in 1977
A.G. Lafley has worked at P&G for decades. His skills were recognized early on by the company leading him to occupy several positions within the company from chairman to president to CEO.
He gained a strong reputation for himself by growing the company’s annual organic sales and closing billion dollar deals with major groups such as Folgers and Pampers. In 2014, A.G. Lafley performed remarkably in the $12.5 billion divestiture of 43 beauty product companies and the sale of its Duracell Batteries unit for $4.7 billion in stock. In his words, to succeed, a company must be consumer-driven. According to him, “The consumer is boss”. This is what helped P&G reach a larger consumer base. P&G has now become a household name for food, health-care and electronics. In June 2016, Lafley announced his resignation but the question remains: will he be coming back in the near future?
Chairman and CEO, GENERAL ELECTRIC
*Has held his current post since September 2001
*Is leading the biggest spin-off in GE history to refocus on industrial infrastructure
A Dartmouth College and Harvard graduate, Immelt managed to protect the company from the Enron crisis and helped it weather the 2008 financial crisis. The son of a GE manager, Immelt is now at a crucial juncture. In 2014, he announced a deconglomeration plan including the sale of GE’s banking, healthcare and appliance businesses which once accounted for half of the profits of the company. Aiming to refocus on GE’s original competitive advantage, Immelt plans to remold GE into an industrial giant with strong adaptability to today’s fast-paced environment.
The spin-off has proven to be a success, as evidenced by the 11% rise in the company’s share price a day after the announcement, increasing GE’s market value by $35 billion.
*Appointed President in 2000 and CEO in 2012
*Launched “Project Literacy” in 2014, a five-year campaign to combat illiteracy worldwide
John Fallon is the agent of change at the world’s largest book publisher and education company. Upon officially taking up the position in 2013, he announced Pearson’s new restructuring plan to invest in digital learning and emerging markets. 2015 was a very active year: Fallon led the resale of The FT Group (including The Financial Times) and The Economist (in which Pearson held a 50% stake) respectively to Nikkei (£844 million, or €1.32 billion) and the Agnelli family (£469 million, or €663 million). The shift in strategy became clear in November 2015, when Pearson turned away from publishing, whose business model is threatened by digitalization, to put a “100% focus” on education, a sector where the group is also a market leader.
President, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK
*Governor of Banca d’Italia from 2006 to 2011
*Former Managing Director at Goldman Sachs International
The President of the European Central Bank has been responsible for dealing with the fallout from the eurozone’s debt crisis. His strategy is based on fighting European economic stagnation with an aggressive course of quantitative easing. In a recent statement Draghi estimated that the eurozone would grow in annual terms by 1.6 percent in 2016 and by 1.7 percent in 2017 and 2018. During his time as Director General of the Italian Treasury (from 1991 to 2001) Draghi played a significant role in reducing Italy’s public debt and was nicknamed “Super Mario” for his ability to navigate Italian politics. In the turmoil following the Brexit, Europe’s economy will probably need a talent of superheroic proportions to face its next challenges.
Sean P. Nolan
President and CEO, AVEXIS
*A seasoned pharma sector leader with 25 years experience in corporate strategy and M&A
*Lead one of the most successful and unique genetic disease treatment focused IPOs of 2016
President and CEO of AveXis, one of the most successful IPO stories of 2016 with an increase in share price of over 100% since listing, Sean Nolan is a pharma industry veteran who successfully created value for many publicly held as well as private companies. At AveXis, Sean is relentlessly focused on commercializing treatments for rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases. Sean started his career with Abbott as a Sales Rep in 1991, and rose to the rank of Senior Director by 2003. He also held C-level roles at Lundbeck Inc., Reata Pharmaceuticals and Intermune – where he led their North American operations and helped launch Pirfenidone (a treatment for a devastating orphan disease). In addition to his broad-base experience at a large multi-national such as Abbott, Mr. Nolan has also had exposure to M&A activities in both a private equity backed company and a public biotech firm.
*Has been the CEO of BeiGene since its beginnings in 2010
*Aims to develop a new generation of immuno-oncology drugs for cancer treatment
Despite John Oyler’s engineering background, life sciences have always been his passion. This is why he founded and served as CEO for a number of companies in this field. He was behind some of the top US pharma companies: Genta, Galenea and BioDuro. John Oyler has made it clear that above all he seeks to guide a company that has meaning and is impactful. His international experiences have led him to work with leading experts from around the world. BeiGene, his newest prized possession, is geared towards creating the next generation of cancer treatment. As the second company to proceed with IPO in the United States in 2016, it had remarkable success on the Nasdaq raising around $158.4 million dollars which is more than what was initially expected. Bei Gene currently has 215 employees and consultants that work at the company’s headquarters in China, the US and Australia.
*President of Ferrari Financial Services S.p.A.
*Corporate Controller at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US from 2002 to 2014
Prior to being appointed Ferrari CFO, Alessandro Gili held multiple positions within Fiat, FCA and FCA US, in the financial and accounting departments. After accompanying FCA in its Wall
Street launch, as Ferrari CFO he took an active part in the IPO which saw the Italian sports-car maker listed on the New York Stock Exchange in October 2015. The total value of the company is around $10 billion. The deal is part of a series of transactions intended to fully separate Ferrari from FCA, which plans to transfer its remaining 80% stake in the company to its own shareholders. After the deal, the company’s board moved to reassure Ferrari lovers that the IPO was not the first step towards mass production.
*Has raised or restructured in excess of $500m of equity or debt capital over the course of his career
*Was honored with “Silicon Valley CFO of the Year Award” in 2012
Bill Zerella joined Fitbit as its CFO in June 2014. He was instrumental in the US-based fitness device maker’s IPO, which made waves on Wall Street by raising nearly $740 million and subsequently getting valued at $4.1 billion. In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance following the IPO, he said, “We’re very disciplined financially. We want to continue to grow the company rapidly but we also want to earn decent returns and generate good cash flow and good earnings.” Before Fitbit, Zerella worked at a multitude of companies in senior executive finance positions, including Vocera Communications, Calient Networks, ICTV, Deloitte and Pace, Inc. He has made a reputation for himself by demonstrating a strong ability to scale growth stage businesses.
Founder and Partner, BASELINE VENTURES
*Ranked No.2 on Forbes’ 2016 Midas List
*Has invested in 80+ companies and helped 25+ companies exit profitably
An ex-partner at Kleiner Perkins, Anderson trained at eBay, Microsoft, Starbucks and Digital Equipment before starting to ruminate on the idea of founding a company in 2006. Driven by his avid love for effecting change, he quickly realized that creating a seed fund to addresses the gap between individual investors and institutional venture capitalists would be a better option, and created his own one-man band Baseline, with the support of angel investor Ron Conway. Thanks to the lean operation, this electronic dance music enthusiast and former DJ moves quickly and by rule of thumb, but his early bets on Instagram (acquired by Facebook for $1bn), Heroku (bought by Salesforce, $250m), OMGPOP (sold to Zynga, $180m) turned out to be hot.
Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al Madani
President, ISLAMIC DEVELOPMENT BANK (IDB)
*President of the IDB since its establishment by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation
*A renowned leader in the domains of education and manpower development
*Focused on providing resources to fight poverty in 56 Muslim nations across the globe
With undergraduate degrees in commerce and law, Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al Madani embarked upon his journey of manpower development and education as Director of the Scientific and Islamic Institute in Yemen in 1958. After completing his MA and PhD, both in Public Administration, Dr. Ali assumed the position of Acting Rector at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia in 1967. His contribution to the development of people during this period saw him elected Deputy Minister of Education in 1972. This experience also helped him get elected as the first President of the IDB in 1975. Dr. Ali looks at development as a comprehensive phenomenon that has to be continuously reviewed and closely coordinated. This view has helped him transform the IDB into the IDB Group that is now involved in several dimensions such as trade, insurance, and private sector investment, as well as several charities.
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