2:30 p.m. Pacific standard time

Leadership matters: what’s on the minds of leading CEOs,

moderated by Alan Murray, Editor, FORTUNE magazine

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Session recap

Leadership matters: what’s on the minds of leading CEOs, moderated by Alan Murray, Editor, FORTUNE magazine

Tell ‘em the good, the bad and the ugly
Face the brutal truths

Wide-ranging discussion was an understatement in “Leadership Matters: what’s on the minds of leading CEOs.” Throughout the conversation with three leading CEOs—Jennifer Morgan of SAP, Irwin Simon of The Hain Celestial Group and Chip Bergh, Levi Strauss & Co.—one element arose again and again: the importance of honesty and transparency.

When Morgan CEO of SAP, she held an “amnesty meeting,” where she asked the leadership team: “Tell me what’s really going on. Where is the business really today?” She wanted to keep them from telling her what they thought she wanted to hear, “Because if you don’t know what’s going on, you can’t fix it.”

Simon added that in an environment where people are scared, they won’t bring you bad news. “We’re in business. If we’re not having bumps of bad news, we’re not in business. And bad news is… doesn’t get better with age.”

It’s just as important to be honest with your stakeholders, according to Bergh. “The most important thing a CEO can do is to confront the brutal facts.”

But hardest thing of all, said Irwin, is to look in the mirror and “be honest with yourself. You can’t BS yourself.”

 

Moderator

 

Alan Murray speaks at EY Strategic Growth Forum

Alan Murray
Editor
FORTUNE magazine

 

Speakers

 

Chip Bergh speaks at EY Strategic Growth Forum

Chip Bergh
President & CEO
Levi Strauss & Co.

 

Jennifer Morgan speaks at EY Strategic Growth Forum

Jennifer Morgan
President - North America
SAP America, Inc.

 

Irwin Simon speaks at EY Strategic Growth Forum

Irwin Simon
Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board
The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.