By Carolyn Gray Anderson and Paul Feinberg
On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, UCLA Anderson recognized The Boeing Company’s retired chairman, CEO and president W. James (“Jim”) McNerney, Jr., as the ninth recipient of the John Wooden Global Leadership Award. The audience of nearly 500 included UCLA Anderson Board of Visitors members and other generous supporters gathered under the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center.
“I’m deeply honored by this award,” McNerney said upon receiving the award from UCLA Anderson Dean Judy Olian. “John Wooden — if you’re of my generation you know who he is, what he meant and what his values were. The prior (recipients), I know them all, and I’m very proud to be included in that group.”
The distinction is awarded annually to an exceptional leader who espouses and embodies the principles exemplified by the legendary UCLA coachteacher and leadership expert John R. Wooden. In her remarks, Dean Olian expressed admiration for McNerney’s decades of business success, which in 2015 earned him Chief Executive Magazine’s CEO of the Year, a distinction he shares with the 2014 Wooden Award honoree, Bob Iger.
One of the highlights of the evening (in addition to the Chicago Cubs’ winning Game 7 of the World Series; McNerney and UCLA Anderson’s Board of Visitors Chairman Bob Murley [’74] were among those pulling for the Cubs) was a discussion between McNerney and Michael Hiltzik, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from the Los Angeles Times. Their discussion touched on a range of topics that included the current state of manufacturing in the United States and how a chief executive may impact corporate culture.