Category Archives: Media

Harry Kraemer: From Fortune 500 CEO To A Favorite Kellogg Professor (Article)

Recently, Poets&Quants sat down with Harry to learn more about what makes a great leader — and to see what makes Harry tick:

“Harry Kraemer doesn’t fit the profile of a Fortune 500 CEO. Forget an imperious swagger or impersonal bent. When you cross paths with Kraemer in Kellogg’s Collaboration Plaza, it is like greeting a long-lost but fondly remembered friend. There is the inviting smile and reassuring handshake. His first instinct is to find out how you are. When you ask the same, he’ll sprinkle your name or “my friend” throughout his response. Most charismatic people absorb energy, but Kraemer refracts it, imbuing others with a gusto that washes away their temporary woes.”

Read the full article here.

Why Jeff Immelt’s GE Succession Will Go Much Better Than Jack Welch’s (Article)

Harry shares his thoughts on the succession plan to replace outgoing General Electric CEO, Jeff Immelt:

General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt is stepping down in August, ending his 16-year tenure as the leader of the $120 billion company. It’s a textbook case of succession that could greatly improve the chances of success for John Flannery, the 30-year GE veteran tapped to replace him.

This sets up a quick and seamless transition as Immelt has promised, contrasting sharply with the drawn-out way GE’s iconic CEO Jack Welch chose his successor, which took more than six years — much of it in the public eye. Eventually, it came down to a three-way “horse-race” among internal finalists. At the time, it was called the “most closely watched, highly anticipated, and frequently second-guessed corporate succession drama ever.” The process was so public, the other two finalists ended up leaving GE for leadership positions in other companies after Immelt was chosen in 2001, creating a void for him without these strong executives. This time around, after Flannery was announced, Steve Bolze, head of GE’s Power business, has announced his retirement after not nabbing the top job (here’s a letter Bolze wrote his colleagues on his decision to retire).

Read Harry’s full article here on Fortune.com.

The Next Market Amazon Could Take Over (Article)

Harry shares his thoughts about Amazon’s prospects in the pharmaceuticals market:

As Amazon seeks to continue its healthy pace of growth and leverage its massive distribution network, expanding into pharmaceutical distribution would be a logical move and natural extension of its business. With net sales of $136 billion in 2016, Amazon cannot ignore the potential growth that could be realized from the health care industry, which currently accounts for nearly 18% of U.S. GDP and could reach 25% over the next few decades.

Read the full article here.

What the Downfall of Michael Flynn Teaches Business Leaders About Hiring Bad Apples (Article)

In a recent Fortune article, Harry shares his thoughts on the importance of values-based leadership in assembling the “best team”:

“As a former chairman and CEO of a $12 billion health care company, I can attest that finding the right talent for the team is one of the biggest challenges for any leader, as well as one of the most important responsibilities. And leaders can’t just rely on their own “gut” or previous experiences in picking the right candidates, as Donald Trump discovered when he appointed Michael Flynn as his national security adviser.”

Read the full article here.

FILE – In this Feb. 1, 2017 file photo, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. Trump says his former national security adviser is right to ask for immunity in exchange for talking about Russia. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Sound Leadership Begins in Silence (Article)

From near priesthood to CEO of Baxter and now professor at the Kellogg School of Management, a recent profile piece by the Northwestern Office for Research delves into Harry’s upbringing and explores what makes him tick:

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It’s midnight and the house is quiet. Harry Kraemer Jr. is sitting in his study, reflecting on the day’s events — good, bad, indifferent—and filling a journal with his observations.

He’s done this most evenings for years, even back when his five children were all still at home here in Wilmette, Illinois; even when he was chairman and CEO of Baxter International, then a $9 billion global healthcare firm with more than 50,000 employees in 100 countries. He works it in now despite busy days as an executive partner at Madison Dearborn, the Chicago-based private equity firm he joined in 2005, after 23 years with Baxter. The notebook is part of a disciplined routine and values-based leadership model that Kraemer extols in his books, blog, and at the Kellogg School of Management, his alma mater, where he teaches in the MBA and Executive MBA programs.

Read the full piece here.

Self-Reflection Makes Better Leaders (Podcast)

In case you missed it, be sure to check out Harry’s interview on the Top of Mind radio show with Julie Rose on BYU Radio, where he shares his thoughts on the importance of self-reflection and how he has managed to do it consistently for over 30 years, even during his time as CEO of Baxter:

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