Excerpts from some of Peter’s recent speaking engagements.
Peter was a featured guest at the Aspen Institute’s Economic Policy Summit in July, 2017 and was interviewed by the Institute’s founder and CEO Walter Isaacson and David Leonhardt of the New York Times. Here are some clips from that discussion.
Peter A. Georgescu is Chairman Emeritus of Young & Rubicam Inc. Elected as the company’s eighth CEO in 1993, Mr. Georgescu was the first Chairman or CEO of Young & Rubicam Inc. born outside of the United States. Under Mr. Georgescu’s leadership, Young & Rubicam successfully transformed from a private to a publicly-held company.
Within the marketing community, he is known as a leading proponent of creating unified communications programs, agency accountability for measuring the impact of communications programs, and structuring value-based agency compensation. In recognition of his contributions to the marketing and advertising industry, Mr. Georgescu was elected to the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2001.
Mr. Georgescu immigrated to the United States from Romania in 1954. He received his B.A. with cum laude honors from Princeton and an MBA from the Stanford Business School. Mr. Georgescu’s belief in the power of education has fueled his involvement with organizations such as A Better Chance and Polytechnic University, and he has served on the Board of Directors for both. The University of Alabama and Cornell College in Iowa have awarded Mr. Georgescu honorary doctorate degrees. Mr. Georgescu is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Mr. Georgescu is the author of 3 books: The Source of Success – asserting that personal values and creativity are the leading drivers of business success in the 21st Century; The Constant Choice – about the struggles between good and evil; and Capitalists, Arise! – examining the threat shareholder primacy poses the American way of life, and the solutions businesses can implement to heal our nation.
Peter Georgescu arrived in this country as a penniless Romanian refugee and rose to prominence as the CEO of Young & Rubicam. It’s an American Dream success story that could not play out in today’s economic environment – one that is plagued with disappearing jobs, flat wages, and a shrinking middle class. In his new book, Capitalists, Arise!, Georgescu argues that the stark reality of our current economic malaise and social breakdown can be attributed, in large part, to the short-term thinking spawned by shareholder primacy.
With deeply sobering statistics and new research, Geogescu points the way toward a future that will only be possible with enlightened capitalism.
So, how did we get here?
Decisions and choices apparently made without a single care about how these decisions would affect our society. Combined, these corporate choices have diminished the buying power of the American public and lead to the decimation of our middle class.
The business industry has the most to gain from a healthy America, and the most to lose by social unrest and punitive taxation. According to Georgescu, business leaders can become a crucial part of the solution in two important ways:
Georgescu’s deepest hope is that fellow CEOs, executives and directors will take steps to push back against the pressures of shareholder primacy and begin to reshape free enterprise with a vision toward long-term profitability rather than short-term gain.
Traditionally, the advertising business is seen as an evil entity – trying and willing to do anything for a consumer to purchase a project or a service. As a scholar of good and evil, and also someone who has spent his entire career in advertising, Peter has a very interesting perspective on morality in the business world.
Hear Peter speak about:
Georgescu’s rise to success did not come without turmoil, as he struggled to grasp humanity’s moral nature – why the decisions of some are driven by evil, and others by good. In The Constant Choice, Georgescu reflects on human behavior, and engages in a philosophical, scientific, and spiritual exploration, as well as conversations with diverse, world-renowned thought leaders, including eminent evolutionary biologist Paul Ehrlich, Elie Wiesel, Sister Joan Chittester and Karen Armstrong.
Georgescu argues that: “We need to get outside ourselves, outside our own individual preoccupations. A common good based on common sense, along with a deeper understanding of the source of evil, matters more every day. A spiritual awareness of the nobler side of our natures matters more. We, each one of us, are capable of raising our game toward becoming better people as individuals, as communities or nations, as mankind.”
Far more than an inspirational story, Peter reveals a path for changing not only who we are, but the future of humanity.
It was clearly a meaningful presentation to a very diverse audience – and beautifully delivered. I’m so very proud of you and awed by your fluency, passion, and knowledge on this subject. I was so glad to be a witness.
– Ella D. Strubel, retired EVP, Leo Burnett Co., Inc.
In The Constant Choice Georgescu dwells on the good and evil in his life and our time. I read the book and found amazing parallels in my life – both personally and professionally. I also think our country is facing similar challenges, with a loss in our moral compass. I am encouraged by the optimism and conviction shown by Peter Georgescu’s life journey.
– Richard Reminger, Cleveland, OH
It is with incredible honesty that Peter Georgescu shares his personal journey of spiritual questions and growth to understand good and evil. The Constant Choice has not only enriched me, but my relationships as well. It has prompted in-depth discussions about good and evil, faith and belief and the purpose of our lives in earth.
– Linda Tullis, Greenwich, CT
I was moved by the circumstances of Peter’s personal life and by the inner strength with which he faced, from the beginning, the incredible challenges, hardships and horrors that came in his way. The positivity he expressed since he was a child…truly remarkable, the inner fortitude and faith that accompanied him throughout his whole life. It is an incredible story and there are many interwoven dimensions that are moving and captivating.
– Francesca Rusciani, New York, NY