Richard Gonzalez, AbbVie CEO

AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez

For Richard Gonzalez, Abbvie CEO, the misstatement in his resume has created quite a stir; having enhanced his college and post-graduate degrees which was discovered only recently, he has maintained a low-profile stance expected of a worthy Leader.

Gonzalez, now joins the many other executives whose careers got mired with their resumes including Scott Thompson, the former Yahoo! CEO who stepped down last May after a shareholder disclosed that Thompson’s bachelor’s degree from Stonehill College was in business, not computer science, as described in a company biography and regulatory filings.

Albeit, most observers believe that this mess would just pass what with the full support of Abbott’s CEO and Board of Directors considering Gonzalez’ 30-plus year track record of success with the company.

Yet for many others outside Gonzalez’ sphere, they are just trying to turn this into a circus.  Indeed, lying is no good as it just stains one’s integrity; thereby putting doubts on one’s credibility in money matters and ability to lead since people would then wonder if their leader could take them to the next level or would simply leave them hanging specially when the going gets tough.

Well, not in the case of Richard Gonzalez.

Gonzalez joined Abbott Laboratories in 1977 holding several management posts before retiring in 2007 as President and COO then coming back again as EVP two years later after fixing a medical condition; all this, notwithstanding his key role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira into an $8B-a-year product that’s still growing – he’d likely get a pass for the paper error.

To quote JP Morgan analyst Michael Weinstein: “I’ve known Rick for 15-plus years. He’s extremely capable and has proven himself over a long, distinguished career.  If he were an unknown, an outsider the board had just brought in to run AbbVie, it would be one thing, but this is a long-time leader at Abbott. Rick should have, and I fully expect does have, the board’s full support.”

Nonetheless, let’s look deeper and balance the issue.

The “key” here is track record which Gonzalez would not have had if he weren’t given an opportunity just like other successful executives you know.  Now, lying here is beyond the point.  If an outsider, whether an undergraduate or someone with irrelevant experience, is also given a chance to perform – he could possibly accomplish bigtime as well.  Of course, you would not just hire anybody; but remember, only a creative mind could recognize a creative mind.

See, there is much lying even at the Executive level because of stereotyping, because of conventional minds that fantasizes to being forward-thinkers.  If recruitment wasn’t so structured but focuses on the company’s real needs and one’s real abilities then there would be zero to so little lying which, if ever, would be so easy to detect right from the start.

This is something employers should realize if they really want real talents and Leaders.

What’s your take?


One thought on “Richard Gonzalez, AbbVie CEO

  1. I really seem to agree with every thing that is written within “Richard Gonzalez,
    AbbVie CEO Making Leaders – Out of Leaders”. Thanks for all the actual information.
    Thanks for your time,Toni

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