Dean's Innovative Leader Series brings the world's best CEOs to life

Lawrence K. Fish, CEO of Citizens, and Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, share work and life lessons with the MIT Sloan community

Lawrence Fish, CEO of Citizens Financial Group Photo: Lawrence Fish, chairman, president, and CEO of Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Continuing with a heady list of speakers, the Dean's Innovative Leader Series this week hosts two of the great trailblazers of the contemporary business world.

On Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 12 p.m. in E51-345, Lawrence K. Fish, chairman, president & CEO of Citizens Financial Group, shares his perspectives on leadership in financial services and the role of business leaders in community service. His talk, “Not Your Typical CEO,” is a takeoff on Citizen Bank's successful marketing campaign.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Photo: Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation

On Friday, Oct. 21 at 12 p.m. in Wong Auditorium, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer presents “Innovation with Impact,” a discussion about future directions for the computing megalith.

Cosponsored by the MIT Leadership Center and the MIT Sloan Office of Resource Development, the Dean's Innovative Leader Series brings to campus some of the most influential and innovative leaders from the public and private sectors. They speak frankly, sharing lessons learned from their experiences leading some of the world's most influential organizations.

Upcoming speakers include Peter H. Diamandis, MD, chairman and CEO of The X Prize Foundation; Michael Kaiser, SM '77, president of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Indra Nooyi, president and CFO of PepsiCo, Inc.; and Lord John Browne, group chief executive of BP.

Lawrence K. Fish: A passionate community activist

Lawrence K. Fish is chairman, president, and CEO of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a multi-state bank holding company with headquarters in Providence, R.I. Citizens Bank has grown 25-fold since Fish joined the company in 1992 and is now the eighth largest commercial bank holding company in the United States. Citizens Financial Group has approximately 27,000 employees, with retail and commercial banking operations in 13 states and non-branch offices in more than 30 states.

Fish is a director of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Textron, Inc. and a member of the board of trustees of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. In January 2002, he was named a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and in July 2003 was elected to the MIT Corporation. He is a founding member of the Alfred P. Sloan Management Society at MIT.

Fish is also committed to service to the community. An overseer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, he is also on the board of directors of Boston's Dimock Community Foundation, Inc. He has chaired many capital campaigns in the community, including major initiatives to assist Rosie's Place, a sanctuary for poor and homeless women in Boston, and the Vietnamese Community Center, a facility for non-profit agencies that provide economic development and social services to Boston's 20,000 Vietnamese refugee and immigrant families. He is particularly interested in the issues of immigration and urban poverty and serves as a volunteer at inner-city organizations in Boston and Providence.

Steven A. Ballmer: A leading role in building Microsoft

Steven A. Ballmer is CEO of Microsoft Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer of software for personal and business computing. Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 and was the first business manager hired by Bill Gates.

Ballmer has headed several Microsoft divisions, including operations, operating systems development, and sales and support. In July 1998, he was promoted to president, a role that gave him day-to-day responsibility for running Microsoft. He was named CEO in January 2000, assuming full management responsibility for the company, which includes delivering on the Microsoft mission of enabling people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.

Together with Gates and the company's other business and technical leaders, Ballmer is focused on continuing Microsoft's innovation and leadership across the company's seven businesses. The company's goal is to provide an integrated platform that makes possible a seamless experience across a wide range of computing and non-PC devices and services.

At Harvard University, Ballmer lived down the hall from fellow sophomore Bill Gates. After college, he worked for two years at Procter & Gamble Co. as an assistant product manager and, before joining Microsoft, attended Stanford Business School.

Upcoming speakers in the Dean's Innovative Leader Series

Peter H. Diamandis, MD
Chairman and CEO, The X Prize Foundation
Thursday, October 27, 2005

Michael Kaiser, SM '77
President, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Thursday, November 3, 2005

Indra Nooyi
President and CFO, PepsiCo, Inc.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Lord John Browne
Group Chief Executive, BP
Tuesday, May 2, 2006