President and CEO / QVC
Getting it right
Almost 30 years later, Mike George ’85 is
still drawing from his Kellogg experience
For a corporation that spent its first decade building a brand around a single platform, home-shopping retailer QVC has done remarkably well in the Internet era. According to president and CEO Mike George, the key has been QVC’s organization-wide focus on what made the original television network thrive in the first place: "The core of it is the live experience, however you receive it."
Now approaching his ninth year of leading the multinational retailer, George is further expanding QVC’s reach globally and digitally. And he attributes his success to opportunities that began at Northwestern University and the Kellogg School of Management.
After graduating from Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 1983, George went directly into the Two-Year Program at Kellogg. Being new to the business world, George worried that he would be at a disadvantage in the program.
"I literally never knew a businessperson in my life," he said, citing his working-class background. "I really was as green as green could be."
But the faculty and his fellow students welcomed him, and he learned from everyone as colleagues in a team environment. "Everything I learned, I soaked up," he said.
And everything he soaked up, he is applying at QVC, where e-commerce now accounts for 45 percent of sales, or $3.6 billion in 2013. Amazon is its primary competitor.
With a 2015 launch in France still ahead, George said he still relies on the Kellogg education he received 29 years ago to help with QVC’s continuing expansion. Added George: "To have impact in a rapidly changing world, you have to work collaboratively as part of a team."