Stan Bergman, Chairman and CEO of Henry Schein, presented at the recent Center for Higher Ambition CEO Conference held near Boston. A few days later, he was at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on a panel entitled, Ethical Capitalism — Worth a Try? It’s a question we, along with a number of forward looking business leaders, have been asking for some time. The results of Henry Schein and other companies with Higher Ambition strategies would indicate that answer should be a resounding, “YES!” According to Bergman, his company’s “market valuation, now at $10 billion, has grown at a 23 percent rate compounded annually since the company went public in 1995.” That’s impresive.
Bergman shared some thoughts from the panel on the Huffington Post. Among his insights:
From my perspective, this notion that “capitalism” is inherently unethical is not only philosophically wrong but factually refutable. The problem is not with capitalism; the problem is with those capitalists who focus on the present without caring for the future.
For any system to be sustained — political, governmental, social or economic — its leaders must be rooted in ethics. So what does this mean? Ethical Capitalism has at least two essential ingredients: A focus on creating long-term economic and social value, and a commitment by business to act as stewards of the full spectrum of its constituencies — customers, employees, suppliers, investors and society.
We couldn’t agree more and appreciate Bergman’s advocacy.
Henry Schein, Inc. is a founding sponsor of the Center for Higher Ambition Leadership.