Mary on CNBC

Mary Uhl-Bien Interviewed by CNBC About CEOs Under Fire

Dr. Mary Uhl-Bien commented on two high-profile Congressional hearings: Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf about the bank’s account scandal, and Mylan CEO Heather Bresch on the huge price hike in EpiPens. 

September 22,  2016

By Elaine Cole

Live on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning, Mary Uhl-Bien, TCU’s BNSF Railway Endowed Professor in Leadership, commented on the Congressional hearings of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf and Mylan CEO Heather Bresch.

“The public is not happy with these kinds of stories. It feeds into the perception that business is out for greed,” Uhl-Bien told Squawk Box’s Andrew Ross Sorkin.

Uhl-Bien noted that Stumpf talked like a politician who had been coached by attorneys. “He didn’t come across as sincere,” she said. Whereas Bresch tried to bring in data and numbers. “I think she was trying to link it to a higher purpose,” Uhl-Bien said, adding that she didn’t think Bresch was successful.

“What people want to hear is a sense of remorse. They want to know that these executives understand what they are dealing with. This raises again the issue of executive pay and the extreme disparity between the working people and the executives who are paid exorbitant amounts of money.”

As for Stumpf’s apology, Uhl-Bien told Gillian Tett, U.S. managing editor for the Financial Times, that Stumpf said he took responsibility, “yet he showed no sign of that at all. What people want to hear, more than an apology, is a sense of understanding; that these executives realize there are people who are suffering.”

Dr. Uhl-Bien is a renowned expert, consultant and researcher on complexity leadership, relational leadership and followership. She has published more than 50 articles and manuscripts, five books and a textbook on Organizational Behavior.

Watch the full interview here: