Yale School of Management

Bosses as Brands: CEOs in the Public Spotlight

Friday, January 10, 9 a.m.

The images and personalities of CEOs have become closely identified with the enterprises themselves. In this discussion with top CEOs, we'll consider whether this heroic imagery is due to lazy analysts, gossip-seeking journalists, or grandiose CEOs—and whether society has an agenda in such imagery as well. Other areas of discussion will include:

  • How do CEOs balance their time between internal firm priorities and external constituent/stakeholder demands?
  • How can a single person directly reach the far-flung empires of today’s vast global enterprises?
  • How are the symbolic and substantive roles of leadership intertwined?
  • What parts of the job can a CEO least comfortably delegate to his or her top management team? How does a top management team function when the CEO is not present?

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld
Senior Associate Dean for Executive Programs & Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management, Yale School of Management 

Jeffrey Bewkes YC '74
Chairman of the Board & CEO, Time Warner Inc.

Chengyu Fu
Chairman, China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group)

Indra Nooyi '80
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo, Inc.


Jeffery Sonnenfeld

Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld

Senior Associate Dean for Executive Programs & Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management
Yale School of Management

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld served as full tenured professor at Emory's Goizueta Business School for a decade and a professor at the Harvard Business School for a decade, and is currently the senior associate dean of executive programs as well as the Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management for the Yale School of Management, as well as founder and president of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute, a nonprofit educational and research institute focused on CEO leadership and corporate governance.

Professor Sonnenfeld's related research has been published in 100 scholarly articles which appeared in the leading academic journals in management such as Administrative Sciences Quarterly, the Academy of Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Social Forces, Human Relations, and Human Resource Management. He has also authored eight books, including The Hero's Farewell, an award-winning study of CEO succession, and another best seller, Firing Back, a study on leadership resilience in the face of adversity.

At the same time, his work is regularly cited by the general media in such outlets as: BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, theWall Street Journal, the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, the Economist, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, CBS (60 Minutes), NBC (The Today Show), ABC (Nightline, Good Morning America), CNN, and Fox News, as well as PBS, where he is a regular commentator, and CNBC, where he is a regular commentator. BusinessWeek listed Sonnenfeld as one of the world’s 10 most influential business school professors and Directorship magazine has listed him among the 100 most influential figures in corporate governance. He is the first academician to have rung the opening bells of both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.


Jeffrey BewkesJeffrey Bewkes YC '74

Chairman of the Board & CEO
Time Warner Inc.

Jeff Bewkes is Chairman of the Board and CEO of Time Warner Inc. He was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors in January 2009, having served on the Board since January 2007. He was elected CEO of the Company in January 2008.

Prior to being named Chairman and CEO, Mr. Bewkes served as Time Warner's President and COO from January 2006 to December 2007 and as Chairman of the Entertainment and Networks group from July 2002 to December 2005. Before joining the corporate management of Time Warner, Mr. Bewkes served as Chairman and CEO of HBO from May 1995 to July 2002, and as President and COO of HBO from September 1991 to May 1995.

Mr. Bewkes serves on the Boards of Yale University and the Partnership for New York City and on the advisory boards for The George Washington University Law School, The Creative Coalition, The Paley Center for Media, and is a member of The Business Council.

Mr. Bewkes has a BA from Yale University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


Chengyu Fu

China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group)

Fu Chengyu is chairman of China Petrochemical Corporation (SINOPEC Group) and chairman of China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC Corp.).  He is member of UN Global Compact Board and chairman of Global Compact Network China Board.  He is a standing member of the 12th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee. 

Fu joined China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) in 1982 and assumed various management roles before being appointed chief executive officer of CNOOC Limited from October 2003 to September 2010.  He has been chairman of SINOPEC Group since April 2011, and chairman of SINOPEC Corporation since May 2011. 

Awarded “CCTV China Economic Annual Figure” in 2005 and “China Business Leaders Awards” in 2006, he was selected as one of the “Top Ten Leaders for Energy and Petrochemical Industry in China’s 30 Years' Reform and Opening-up”, “Corporate Leaders for Social Responsibility” in 2008, and “The Best-Performing CEOs in the World” by Harvard Business Review.  In 2011, Fu was awarded Executive to Watch in 2012 by TheWall Street Journal, Businessperson of the Year by Fortune, and 2010-2011 Energy Person by the 2011 China’s Energy Enterprises Summit Forum.  In 2012, he was awarded Petroleum Executive of Year 2012 by the Energy Intelligence Group. 

Fu graduated from China’s Northeast Petroleum Institute majoring in geology, and later received a master's degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Southern California.


Indra NooyiIndra Nooyi '80

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
PepsiCo, Inc.

Indra Nooyi is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo. In its global food and beverage portfolio, PepsiCo has 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. PepsiCo's main businesses include Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola. With more than $65 billion in annual net revenue, PepsiCo makes hundreds of enjoyable foods and beverages that are loved throughout the world.

Mrs. Nooyi is the chief architect of Performance with Purpose, PepsiCo’s promise to do what’s right for the business by doing what’s right for people and the planet. It’s the company’s commitment to sustained growth with a focus on Performance, Human, Environmental and Talent Sustainability. In keeping with this commitment, PepsiCo is proud to be listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.

Mrs. Nooyi was named President and CEO on October 1, 2006 and assumed the role of Chairman on May 2, 2007. She has directed the company's global strategy for more than a decade and led its restructuring, including the divestiture of its restaurants into the successful YUM! Brands, Inc., the acquisition of Tropicana and the merger with Quaker Oats that brought the vital Quaker and Gatorade businesses to PepsiCo, the merger with PepsiCo's anchor bottlers, and the acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann, the largest international acquisition in PepsiCo's history.

Prior to becoming CEO, Mrs. Nooyi served as President and Chief Financial Officer beginning in 2001, when she was also named to PepsiCo's Board of Directors. In this position, she was responsible for PepsiCo's corporate functions, including finance, strategy, business process optimization, corporate platforms and innovation, procurement, investor relations and information technology. Between February 2000 and April 2001, Mrs. Nooyi was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of PepsiCo. Mrs. Nooyi also served as PepsiCo's Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development from 1996 until 2000, and as PepsiCo’s Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning from 1994 until 1996.


Explore. Discover. Connect.