In July, business leaders gathered at the New York Stock Exchange to recognize Stanley Bergman, CEO of Henry Schein, who was chosen as the 2017 CEO of the Year by a selection committee of his CEO peers. “Stanley Bergman was the obvious choice for this year’s award,” said Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T and last year’s honoree, who praised Bergman for his performance track record and commitment to social responsibility while leading the distributor of healthcare products and services. “This business has a sustained record of growth for 28 years—which just happens to perfectly coincide with Stan’s tenure as CEO. And its commitment to community goes beyond just writing a few checks—the whole Schein team is actively engaged.”
In accepting the award, Bergman took the opportunity to urge business leaders to help bridge a dividebeing forged by advances in technology fueling what he called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “We and our companies are beneficiaries of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and we have an obligation to civil society to do a better job expanding these benefits to others,” noted Bergman, who grew his company into an $11.5 billion enterprise in part by embracing a technology-fueled transformation. “This is not about taking positions regarding taxes, where there is room for genuine disagreement, but about bringing more people into the digital economy.”
Referencing his own immigration to the United States in 1976 and the immigration journeys of several of his key team members, Bergman also called on CEOs to be societal leaders during a time when tolerance and respect for differences is on the wane.
“Americans thrive on the diversity of thought that is freely expressed by people from all walks of life and diversities,” he noted. “Business leaders must work together to bridge our political, religious and cultural differences, which is more important now than ever before. Our democracy is too precious to be torn apart by our differences. Something greater than ourselves is at stake.”