Former CEO of Suncor Energy
Rick George is both a contrarian and an optimist. One of Canada’s most transformative business figures, during the twenty years he spent as president and chief executive officer of Suncor Energy, it went from being Canada’s “unluckiest oil company,” to a stock-market darling and the second-largest publicly traded corporation in the country. Rick shares the wisdom he amassed from running the multi-billion dollar company, speaking with authority on innovation, optimism, leadership, strategy, energy policy, and politics.
Rick was appointed president and CEO of Suncor Energy Inc. in 1991, and retired in the spring of 2012. He was named Outstanding CEO of the Year in 1999, after leading a remarkable business turnaround at Suncor, and he received the Canadian Business Leader Award in 2000. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2011 for his leadership in the development of Canada’s natural resources sector; for his efforts to provide economic opportunities to Aboriginal communities; and for his commitment to sustainable development.
Rick was appointed Chairman to the Board of Penn West Exploration, one of Canada’s largest oil and natural gas producers, in 2013. He also sits on the Board for the Royal Bank of Canada and the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.
He served as chairman of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives from 2003-06, and was selected to serve as chair of the Canadian contingent of the North American Competitiveness Council in 2008. He was a member of the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness in 2007, and chair of the 2008 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. Rick also is involved with the Juno House Foundation, which specializes in issues surrounding young women’s mental health, and donates all of his speaking fees to this valuable cause.
Rick holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Colorado State University, a law degree from the University of Houston Law School, and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development.