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Whole Foods, Citigroup CEOs set for talks on campus

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From page A1 | February 20, 2013 |

John Mackey. Courtesy photo

Two sometimes-controversial business giants, Whole Foods Market co-founder and co-CEO John Mackey and former Citigroup chairman and CEO Sandy Weill, are scheduled to headline the UC Davis Graduate School of Management’s dean’s distinguished speaker series.

Mackey will speak at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Freeborn Hall. Weill will speak at 6 p.m. Monday in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre at the Mondavi Center.

Dean Steven Currall will moderate both events, which are free and open to the public. Space is limited, so those interested in attending are asked to register at http://gsm.ucdavis.edu/deans-distinguished-speakers.

Mackey’s talk will be followed by a book-signing. Weill’s will include a discussion of pension reform with Anne Simpson, senior portfolio manager and director of corporate governance for CalPERS.

Mackey is the co-author with Raj Sisodia, a Bentley University marketing professor, of the recent book “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business.”

He is also a co-founder of Conscious Capitalism Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes what Mackey suggests are ethical business practices that look beyond profits to a company’s place in the communities in which it does business and the larger world.

Never shy about his opinions, Mackey, a libertarian, has courted controversy with his opposition to the government taking a larger role in health care — at one point, he labeled the health care reform law “fascism,” only to later apologize — and a greater regulatory role in response to climate change, which he believes could stifle the world’s economy.

Weill retired as CEO of Citigroup, currently the nation’s third-largest bank holding company, in 2003. He served as non-executive chairman until 2006.

Weill earlier served as chairman and CEO of Travelers, chairman of Commercial Credit Company, president of American Express Company and chairman and CEO of Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company subsidiary.

Weill helped oversee the merger of Citicorp and Travelers in 1998. That move was given a temporary waiver, then made legal on a more permanent basis a year later with the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act: the 1933 law that had set up barriers between banking, insurance and securities.

Weill has argued against those who have linked  the 2008 global financial crisis — during which Citi took huge losses and received a federal bailout — to the repeal he pushed for as CEO.

Weill has been an active philanthropist, giving more than $800 million to charity, by his count, to causes that include education and the arts. He was one of five business leaders selected by President George W. Bush who together helped raise more than $116 million in contributions to victims of the 2005 South Asia earthquake.

He is the author of  “The Real Deal: My Life in Business and Philanthropy.”

— Reach Cory Golden at cgolden@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8046. Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
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