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Policy Luncheon - It Takes a CEO: It’s Time to Lead With Integrity

On April 27, 2012, Former TCI and Liberty Media CEO Leo Hindery, Jr. presented his up-dated views of the role of a CEO in today's economy, via a discussion centering on his latest book, "It Takes a CEO: It's Time to Lead with Integrity." "It Takes a CEO" is an engrossing look at the questions of morals and ethics that come with being the leader of a major company.

About Leo Hindery, Jr.
Leo Hindery, Jr. is Managing Partner of InterMedia Partners, a series of media industry private equity funds he founded in 1988 and ran continuously until February 1997.

It was then that he was elected President and CEO of Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI) and Liberty Media, at the time the world's largest combined cable television system operator and programming entity. In March 1999 TCI merged into AT&T, in a transaction valued at $48 billion, and he became President and CEO of AT&T Broadband until he resigned in November 1999.

In December 1999, Mr. Hindery was elected Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GlobalCenter Inc., a major Internet services company, which in January 2001 merged into Exodus Communications, Inc. From 2001 until October 2004, he was Chairman and CEO of The YES Network which he founded to be the regional television home of the New York Yankees. In early 2005 he reconstituted InterMedia Partners. Mr. Hindery began his business career at Utah International Inc., and was later at General Electric Company after those two companies merged.

Mr. Hindery is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Chairman of the US Economy/Smart Globalization Initiative at the New America Foundation, and Co-Chair of the Task Force on Job Creation and Trade. He is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Columbia School of Journalism and a Director of the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), the Paley Center for Media, and Teach for America. Previously, he was an economic and trade advisor to presidential candidate Barack Obama, after earlier serving as Senior Economic Policy Advisor for presidential candidate John Edwards. From 2005 through 2007, he was Vice Chairman of the Presidential and Congressional HELP Commission which in December 2007 made recommendations to Congress for the reform of U.S. foreign assistance.

In 1998, Mr. Hindery was named International Cable Executive of the Year, and received the Foundation Award of the International Radio & Television Society and the Joel A. Berger Award for his leadership in AIDS and HIV initiatives. In 1999, he was named Cable Television Operator of the Year and received from the National Cable Television Association its Distinguished Vanguard Award for Leadership. In 2002, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Minority Media & Telecom Council, received the Oates-Shrum Leadership Award of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and was named a Founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). In 2003, he co-founded, along with then Russian Federation Council Chairman Sergey Mironov, Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS (TPAA), and later he received from the Asia Society and TPAA their "Founders Award" for his efforts in the international fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. In 2005 he was recognized by the cable television industry as one of its "25 Most Influential Executives Over the Past 25 Years". More recently, he received the "Keeper of the Dream" Award from the National Action Network for his efforts on behalf of equality and worker rights (2007), the Individual Achievement Award of the Hispanic Federation (2008), and the Leader Award of the Progressive States Network (2008). He has been named one of the "30 Individuals with the Most Significant Impact on Cable's Early History" (2010), and has just been elected to The Cable Hall of Fame's class of 2012. In November 2011, he received the "John Gardner Lifetime Achievement Award" from Common Cause.

Mr. Hindery is the author of It Takes a CEO: It's Time to Lead With Integrity (Free Press, 2005) and The Biggest Game of All (Free Press, 2003). He has an MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and is an undergraduate of Seattle University. He has been named a Founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Emerson College and the Rabbinical College of America.

A recently retired race car driver, Mr. Hindery's racing resume includes a Class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (24 Heures du Mans) in 2005, and a Class second-place finish in 2003. He is the founder and will be Executive Vice Chairman of the Formula One (F1) Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial, which will have its first race in June 2013 in New Jersey along the Hudson River opposite Manhattan.

About "It Takes a CEO"
Should CEOs act as moral compasses for their companies? Leo Hindery thinks they should. If every CEO did so, then Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, and Tyco would not have become poster children for greed. They would not have become corporate embarrassments -- living illustrations of all that can go wrong in the corner office.

How did these once prestigious companies fall off the ethical cliff? How is it that reputations were destroyed, shareholders lost value, employees (in many cases) lost everything, and, in a few cases, entire companies disappeared? Everyone is pointing fingers, and the new widespread mistrust of public companies may turn out to be more damaging to America's economic future than the billions actually lost in the scandals.

Now, one of America's most prominent corporate leaders illuminates the need for more integrity and less greed among executives. In a scathing examination of why leaders have lost their way, Leo Hindery speaks out on the role of the CEO.

Does the corporate culture have to be driven by greed? Or can you do good and still makegood in the big business world? Leo Hindery, the former CEO and President of companies such as AT&T Broadband, TCI, and the YES Network -- and currently Managing Partner of InterMedia Partners -- forcefully advocates approaching a business career as life's meaningful work, and not merely as a way to accumulate personal wealth. Both fiery and optimistic, Hindery calls upon his fellow executives to conduct themselves with the kind of integrity that used to be commonplace, but now seems all too rare.

Holding his moral yardstick up to some of the worst transgressions in recent memory, Hindery tackles the toughest issues of the day head-on:

  • Why should the ratio of average CEO pay to average employee pay today be 304:1 -- and in some cases, as high as 2,300:1?
  • What does it mean when 80 percent of all viewed media content is owned by just 5 companies?
  • If offshoring is good for the global economy, what needs to be done to make it fair?
  • What should the role of the board of directors be, and whose job is it to take care of employees?

With passion, insight, and humor, Hindery reinvigorates the code of business conduct. It Takes a CEO is a corporate handbook for our times -- not for how to get ahead, but for how to lead with integrity, grace, and heart.