The Yale School of Management’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute (CELI) presented three awards on June 12 during a ceremony at the 93rd CEO Summit at the New York Public Library. Farooq Kathwari, chairman, president, and CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors, Inc., accepted the Lifetime of Leadership Award; Brian Moynihan, chairman and CEO of Bank of America, accepted the Legend in Leadership Award; and Stuart Weitzman, founder of the eponymous footwear company, accepted the Legend Maverick in Leadership Award.
Kathwari’s award was presented by Nasser J. Kazeminy, founder and chairman of NJK Holding Corporation and chairman of the Ellis Island Foundation, and Myron E. Ullman III, chairman of Starbucks Corporation and retired chairman and CEO of the J. C. Penney Company. The award to Moynihan was presented by David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-executive chairman of the Carlyle Group. Weitzman’s award was presented by Kay Koplovitz, founder of USA Networks, former chair of Liz Claiborne, and managing partner of Springboard Growth Capital, and Kip Tindell, co-founder and chairman of the Container Store.
Summit organizer Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies at the Yale School of Management, said, “Farooq Kathwari represents the finest of American innovation, triumphant entrepreneurship, and societal responsibility. He came to the U.S. from Kashmir to take up studies at NYU—a young man both escaping political conflict and determined to further his opportunities. He became president of Ethan Allen in 1985 and chairman and CEO in 1988. In his remarkable tenure, he has guided the company through many changes, transforming it into the brand it is today—a premier destination for interior design and fine home furnishings. At the same time, he has kept alive his dedication to human rights and global peace.”
Of Moynihan, Sonnenfeld said, “Brian Moynihan is a rare model of financial leadership balancing soaring performance, impeccable integrity, and remarkable humility. He took command at a very shaky time for Bank of America eight years ago, following the controversial Merrill Lynch merger. After profound restructuring, illustrious success as the leader of Bank of America for the last eight years made him an obvious candidate for this award. He restructured the company organization to a place of organic growth and solid earnings of more than $20 billion a year through community engagement and reinforcing operational excellence. He also led the bank from a product-transaction company to a customer company. The bank is celebrated by investors, employees, customers, and communities alike, and its largest owner, Warren Buffett, now calls Bank of America his favorite bank stock. Brian has taken terms like appropriate risk appetite, sustainability, resilience from economic fluctuations, customer service, and responsibility growth from being clichés into proven realities.”
Of Weitzman, Sonnenfeld said, “Stuart Weitzman represents the finest of American invention, triumphant entrepreneurship, and responsible global impact.” Rejecting a planned career on Wall Street after receiving his Wharton degree, Weitzman began his career in his father’s Massachusetts shoe factory. By 1986, he launched what became a globally renowned company, dominating the market and coveted by celebrity fans and the millions of women who buy the designs in more than 75 countries around the world. Weitzman believed it was important to oversee the manufacturing and marketing as closely and personally as he guided the creative designs. His philanthropic ventures include partnering with organizations like Pencils of Promise to build schools and local education infrastructure in developing countries, as well as generous support for numerous museums.
The theme of the 93rd CEO Summit is “The American Colossus: The Best of Times and the Worst of Times?” 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.
Other summit participants include Stephen A. Schwarzman of Blackstone, David Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group, Hank Greenberg of CV Starr, Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, Doug Parker of American Airlines, Nick Pinchuk of Snap-on, James Fallows of the Atlantic, Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times, Scott Wapner of CNBC, CIA Director General James Clapper, D.C. Appeals Court Judge Douglas Ginsburg, former Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, Anthony Scaramucci, Grover Norquist, and Ralph Reed. The summit also includes 30 mayors of cities around the nation, including Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Louisville, Kentucky; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Little Rock, Arkansas; Buffalo, New York; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Baltimore, Maryland.
Conference partners include Deloitte, Gladstone Place Partners, IBM, IEX, Korn Ferry, PepsiCo, McKool Smith, UPS, and CNBC.
The Chief Executive Leadership Institute, the world’s first school for incumbent CEOs, 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. For more information, visit som.yale.edu/celi.