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Chief Executive Leadership Institute Honors Terry J. Lundgren of Macy’s and John Legere of T-Mobile

At the CEO Summit on December 15, Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and CEO of Macy’s, will accept the Legend in Leadership Award and John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile, will be recognized with the Maverick in Leadership Award.

Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and CEO of Macy’s, will accept the Legend in Leadership Award of Yale SOM’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute at a ceremony to be held at the 88th forum of the CEO Summit on December 15 at the Waldorf Astoria. John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile, will be recognized with the Maverick in Leadership Award.

The Legend in Leadership Award will be presented to Lundgren by William P. Lauder, executive chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies; Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company; and David Stern, commissioner emeritus of the National Basketball Association.

John Legere

Summit organizer Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies at the Yale School of Management, commented:

“Terry is widely admired for his courage and tenacity, but also for his humanity. In a personality-infused sector, his ego was virtually invisible, with his ambitions being for Macy’s and not his own grandiosity. Furthermore, he boldly has led the legacy players of retail in responding to the challenges of redefining an industry going through wrenching disruption through emerging technologies, aggressive new competition, and transformed customers purchasing behavior—all on top of what was already the fickle world of fashion.”

In his 13 years as CEO, Terry Lundgren has repeatedly helped rethink Macy’s strategy, proving wrong those who said that department stores are a thing of the past. Among Lundgren’s many strategic breakthroughs was the reconceptualization of store merchandise to fit local identities, a strategy now widely used in the industry. Under Lundgren’s guidance, Macy’s has been ahead of the game in integrating store and digital sales and is now the number six U.S. online store.

Terry J. Lundgren

Frank Blake of The Home Depot put it well:

“Terry had the vision to create Macy’s national footprint with the May acquisition and subsequent re-branding; he was one of the first retail CEOs to understand the significance of ‘omnichannel’ retailing; and he is one of the great “merchants” in the retail space. And I think he is showing the right degree of urgency in his current responses to the pressures on the business. His full career is exemplary.”

A second nominator, Boeing’s Jim McNerney, who is also a past Legend in Leadership winner, commented:

“Very well deserved for Terry! He’s been a terrific leader over an extended period of time. One of his not as clearly seen talents is that he was the industry’s best mentor over the years. Tough to find someone up high in his industry that Terry hasn’t help develop both professionally and personally.”

The Maverick in Leadership Award, a new extension of the Legend in Leadership Award, will be presented to Legere by Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and founder and CEO of Thrive Global; Alan Patricof, founder and managing director of Greycroft Partners; and Brad Katsuyama, CEO of IEX.

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld commented:

“John is the catalyst behind disruption in his sector and a model for many outside of telecom. A master of energizing enterprises that others thought were lost if not dead in the water, John brings unrivaled integrity, infectious energy, technological wizardry, and marketing genius to reinvent business and he delights in telling his competitors they are falling farther behind by the minute! People love working for John, using his services, and, of course, following his engaging tweets.”

In just four years as CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere has forever disrupted the wireless industry and completely upended the way consumers buy wireless services. By listening to customers and employees, the Un-carrier was born and T-Mobile invigorated the market by eliminating annual service contracts, launching groundbreaking upgrade programs, offering free data and texting in 140+ countries, going all unlimited and making music and video free—just to name a few! The results have been spectacular. Mr. Legere took T-Mobile from a struggling #4 to a thriving #3, overtaking Sprint. T-Mobile has become the fastest growing wireless company in America, with the fastest 4G LTE network and consistently leading in customer care. Mr. Legere ranks #12 on Glassdoor’s list of most admired CEOs in 2016, with a remarkable employee approval rating of 95%. T-Mobile continues to outperform the industry in financial results, leading total revenue growth for the 13th time in the last 14 quarters, delivering 18% YoY total revenue growth in Q3, 165% YoY growth in net income, and 38% YoY growth in Adjusted EBITDA. Year-to-date, T-Mobile’s stock is up more than 40%. 

As Business Insider commented:

“[Legere] celebrated his four-year anniversary as CEO of T-Mobile US in September, the same month the wireless operator launched the T-Mobile One unlimited-data plan. It was the latest iteration of Legere's tenure-defining ‘Un-carrier movement,’ his mission to turn T-Mobile into an Un-carrier—essentially the opposite of any other mobile company.”

The Legend in Leadership Award was created 25 years ago to honor current and former CEOs who serve as living legends by inspiring chief executives across industries, sectors, and nations. Past recipients include Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin, Zhang Ruimin of Haier, Kenneth Frazier of Merck, Jim McNerney of Boeing, Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup, Ian Cook of Colgate-Palmolive, Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Klaus Kleinfeld of Alcoa, Jiang Jianqing of ICBC Bank, Fu Chengyu of Sinopec, Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, Jeff Immelt of GE, Jeff Bewkes of Time Warner, Frank Blake of Home Depot, Dave Cote of Honeywell, Ellen Kullman of DuPont, Scott Davis of UPS, Alan Mulally of Ford, Andrew Liveris of Dow, Duncan Niederauer of the NYSE, Ken Chenault of American Express, David Stern of the NBA, Ratan Tata of the TATA Group, Mike Ullman of JCPenney, Infosys founder Nandan Nilekani, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Robert Iger of Walt Disney, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone, Roger Enrico of PepsiCo, John Pepper of Procter & Gamble, Don Keough of Coca-Cola Co., McKinsey founder Marvin Bower, Jim Kelly of UPS, Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, Ivan Seidenberg of Verizon, Richard Teerlink of Harley-Davidson, Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson, financier Wilbur Ross, and Lou Gerstner of IBM.

The Summit theme is “Delight and Despair Over Disruption, Part II: The Post-Election Story.” Distinguished global corporate leaders from across industries will engage in lively, candid discussions at this invitation-only leaders’ conference hosted by the Yale School of Management.  

Additional Summit participants include: Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet; Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and CEO of Blackston; Wilbur Ross, chairman and CEO of W.L. Ross & Company; William Donaldson,   27th chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford; Nigel Travis, chairman and CEO of Dunkin’ Brands; Matt Levatich, president and CEO of Harley-Davidson; Anne Mulcahy, former president and CEO of Xerox; Peter Orszag, vice Chairman of Investment Banking of Lazard and former director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Obama administration; John Negroponte, U.S. deputy secretary of state (2007-2009); Thomas James, chairman of Raymond James Financial; John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile; and Terry Lundgren, chairman and CEO of Macy’s.

Conference partners include CNBC, Deloitte, IBM, IEX, Korn Ferry, Lincoln Motor Company, PepsiCo, and UPS.

The Chief Executive Leadership Institute was founded in 1989 to provide original research on top leadership and lively, current educational forums through peer-driven learning for accomplished leaders across a range of sectors. Visit the CELI website for more information.