Mass Device: Ex-Medtronic Chief George: CEOs Can Do More on Gun Control

Former Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) CEO William George said last week that the CEOs of corporate America can have a larger impact than the U.S. Congress when it comes to gun control.

“All of Congress is afraid of the NRA, so I’m worried about getting something done there,” George told CNBC last week. “CEOs can do a lot more locally, in organizing coalitions among mayors, governors, state legislators and coalitions of business people and educators – school boards – to make something happen locally.

“Frankly I’d like to get rid of the assault weapons myself,” he said, adding that the Trump administration’s proposal to arm teachers “is a crazy idea.”

“If a few shareholders object, so be it,” said George, who led the medical device-making giant from 1991 to 2001. “These are our employees’ children. These are part of our companies’ families. We want to make sure they’re safe, otherwise people are not going to come to work for our companies and live in our communities. They have to be in a safe environment. It’s inexcusable.”

And although such a morality-based stance could turn off some investors, he noted, “the companies that do that are going to perform. If your only purpose is making money, you’re going to run, ultimately, into difficulties.”

“This is what inspires your employees. This is what motivates them, that inspires your customers. You’re creating a larger family,” George said.

This content was originally posted on on 2/27/18.