George Barrett, CEO of Cardinal Health, Centers the Company Around Patient Care

George S. Barrett, CEO/Chairman, Cardinal Health

As chairman and CEO of Cardinal Health, George S. Barrett has focused the company’s mission toward improving the quality and safety of patient care, while at the same time increasing efficiency across hospitals and pharmacies.

Part of that crusade is leading the charge in eradicating the opioid epidemic. “This is an area where we have knowledge, and we’ve decided we’re going to do some things to lean in and help, particularly around education,” Barrett told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on his show Mad Money recently. “And that includes clinical education, and we’ve done that through our program Generation Rx.”

Innovation is also key. The company’s innovation hub, Fuse, follows an agile approach, where teams build products in small groups and validate each new development with customers as they go along. This allows quick fixes and fast application of lessons learned into the next round.

Cardinal Health, which Barrett jokingly calls “the greatest business you’ve never heard of,” touches 80% of the hospitals and 60% of the pharmacies in the U.S. In July, CH acquired Medtronic’s Patient Care, Deep Vein Thrombosis and Nutritional Insufficiency business, which expanded the company’s portfolio across 23 product categories.

George Barrett was a featured speaker at Chief Executive’s 2015 CEO2CEO Summit.


George S. Barrett, is No. 15 of Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies.

Chairman and CEO (since August 31st, 2009), Cardinal Health

Previous Position: Vice Chairman and CEO of Healthcare Supply Chain Services

Company start date: 2008

First Position at Company: Vice Chairman and CEO of Healthcare Supply Chain Services (same as as previous position)

Age: 62

Education: B.A. from Brown University and an M.B.A from NYU

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