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To innovate, the corporation aims to converge technological development …..

William Shakespeare in his book Twelth Night said, “Some are born great, and others achieve greatness.” John is one of those dignified person who has the inborn traits and qualities of an essential and successful entrepreneur. This quote somewhere applies to the theories of leadership which says that some leaders are born, and some acquire the leadership traits through external factors. John H Hammergren was born on February20, 1959. Currently he is serving as the Chairman, President and the Chief Executive Officer of McKesson Corporation.

Under the efficient leadership quality of john, McKesson became the leading provider of healthcare services and information solution which also helped various other organizations across the healthcare industry with an aim to improve the performance and provide enhanced care to the patients. Aging 54, he has served as the Chairman of the Board since the year July 2002 and at the post of President and the CEO since April 2001. He initially joined the company in the year 1996 and held a number of management positions before becoming President and the CEO. He has also served as the director of the Hewlett-Packard Company for the year 2005 to April 2013. He has been a director of the Company since July 1999.

He was recruited to the American Hospital Supply and was with the company for 10 long years. During this time, he was also sponsored for the executive MBA program at Xavier. In the year 1991, he went to Kendall Health Care Products which was in the midst of the leverage of buyout and in considerable turmoil. John was aware about the crisis but irrespective of being aware he went ahead and took the risk. John was among that last set of people who were brought into the company with the hope of some wonder happening and this last set of the people succeeded in their aim of turning the tables into success.

John had been heavily focused on the hospital distribution arm of the business and the core pharmaceutical distribution was lacking somewhere. In order to fulfill this gap McKesson initiated a strategic review and implemented the changes in its operating systems and then further enhanced the technological aspect of the business. In the year January 1999, McKesson closed a deal worth $19.9 billion by acquiring HBOC, the nation’s largest health software vendor and automated order entry system. John became the executive vice president of this company and also the President of the McKesson’s supply management business.

Early Days and Education

Born on February 20, 1959 John grew up in a tiny community in Minnesota family and from this community he gained his ethical values, strong beliefs and business values. His father was a travelling salesman in the health care business and often took his son John with him on the business trip which John considered as the valuable educational experience. His father’s death at the age of 53 when John was ageing only 16 years he witnessed that there was no safety neither economic nor philosophical, where his sisters were grown up, and his mother had them married and return to work. He won the scholarship to the Institute of Technology but dropped the idea of joining it as he was more interested in the mixture of human interaction and fiscal focus of the business to more technical engineering courses, and he graduated with a business degree.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in BBA from the University of Minnesota in the year 1981 and his MBA from Xavier University in the year 1987.

Under the efficient leadership of John McKesson has achieved the wonders and became the leading health care providing company. It also helped other organizations across the industry in order to provide better care to the patients.

The Spark

In the year December 2011 it was revealed that John was the highest paid CEO in the US with the total remuneration accounting for $145 million where in the year 2010 he was earning only $51.8 million. Leadership traits, communication expert, task performer, innovativeness, new product development, technical expertise and the efficient database handling are a few of the key skills which better define John. These skills have helped him in gaining a competitive edge over his rivals and competitors.

During John’s tenure, the company has increased its revenue to $123 billion and expanded into new markets, advanced to the 14th position in the Fortune 500 and also been named as the Most Admired Health Care wholesaler by the Fortune Magazine.

In the year 1996, John joined McKesson Health Systems as the president of the McKesson Health System which was a newly formed business unit focused on the pharmaceutical supply management. McKesson had created an attractive balance sheet by spurning its business to Eli Lily for $4 billion.

He is currently a member of the Business Council and the Business Roundtable. In the year 2008, he Co authored the book “Skin in the Game” and in the year 2009 and 2010 he served as the chairman of the Health Care Leadership Council. He has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of McKesson Corporation since April 2001. He also served as the Co-President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of McKesson Corporation from July 1999 to April 2001. He served as the Executive Vice President of McKesson Corporation and its President and Chief Executive Officer of the Supply Management Business from January 1999 to July 1999. He also served as the Group President of McKesson Health Systems for the year 1997 to 1999 and as the Vice President of McKesson Corporation since 1996. In this year, John joined the family of McKesson and then headed towards the McKesson Health Systems. He also served as the Executive Vice President for the pharmaceutical, medical surgery, pharmacy automation, medical surgical and the pharmacy outsourcing business of the McKesson Corporation.

Before joining the McKesson, John served the Medical Surgical division of the Kendall Health Care Products. He has been the Chairman of the McKesson Corporation since July 31, 2002. He serves as a Co-Chairman of Verispan LLC. He has also been a Director of the McKesson Corporation since July 1999. He serves as a Director of the NADRO S.A de C. V. John served as the Director of the Hewlett Packard Company from November 22, 2005 to May 24, 2013. In the year 2009 and 2010 he served as the Chairman of the Health Care Leadership Council and is also a member of the Business Council and Business Roundtable. In 2008, he Co authored the book “Skin in the game.”

Journey with McKesson

John’s career at McKesson has included posts as President of the Supply Management and Executive Vice President for the Pharmaceutical, medical surgical, pharmacy automation and the pharmacy and had the responsibility of outsourcing the business of the company. In the year 1996 John had joined McKesson Health Systems which is also a working division of McKesson focused on the pharmaceutical supply management. Before joining McKesson John was heading the medical surgical division of their Kendall Health Care Products Company and was holding the responsibility general management positions at the Baxter Healthcare Corporation followed by the American Hospital Supply Corporation and the Fujisawa Healthcare between the years 1981 to 1991. John acquired simple strategies for McKesson in order to set the stage for the company’s revival. His first strategy was installing the culture of shared principles under a program called ICARE, which he said he put into place primarily so that he could remember it. ICARE was an acronym for customer centered, accountability, respect and excellence. The set of principles was something which John totally demoralizes for his employees. Second implementation was to establish a program of business scorecards that took the focus off the stock prices and placed it back where it belonged. Four different metrics were set in front of the employees, one was scoring customer satisfaction through regular surveys, and when John saw the level of customer satisfaction rising he knew that recovery was underway. Second, was the employee satisfaction which first dropped but then began to rise with the fall in the employee turnover below the industry average.


John was born in a tiny community in Minnesota family. His father was a travelling salesman in the health care business and often took his son John with him on the business trip which John considered as the valuable educational experience.

Awards & Honors

Capgemini Ernst and Young Leadership Award for global integration
Warren Bennis Award for leadership.
Twice been nominated for one of the Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Powerful People in Health Care.
Professional Affiliations
Hewlett-Packard Company
NADRO S.A. de C.V.
University of Minnesota
Xavier University
Verispan LLC


  To innovate, the corporation aims to converge technological development and improving patient health into one line of business.
  The culture at McKesson is based on a variety of things including integrity, putting the customer first and working backwards from their needs and feedback, accountability and being able to admit failure.

Hope viewers caught up the spark…