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In this episode, we’ll uncover the transformative power of humility in building trust within organizations, sharing real-world examples and actionable insights from Walt Rakowich. He is a leadership speaker and former executive of Prologis, a global real estate company that was near collapse when he took over as CEO in 2008. During the economic downturn, the Prologis stock had dropped from over $70 per share to approximately $2 per share in 10 months, making it the third-worst performing company in the S&P 500. After Walt joined as CEO, he quickly implemented a change in culture through transparency, orchestrating a dramatic turnaround and restoring its position in the industry… So, if want to know more about how his leadership saved this company, stay tuned!
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More about Walter
Walter C. Rakowich is the former CEO of Prologis a NYSE company and a member of the
S&P 500. Prologis is a leading provider of distribution facilities and services with over $50
billion in assets and operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Mr. Rakowich was Co-CEO
of Prologis and member of the Board of Directors from June 2011 through December 2012. He
was CEO of Prologis from November 2008 through June 2011. He was a member of the
Prologis Board of Trustees from January 2005 through June 2011.
Prior to becoming CEO, Mr. Rakowich was the President and Chief Operating Officer of
Prologis from January 2005 through November 2008. He joined Prologis in 1994. From
December 1998 to January 2005, he served as Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer
for Prologis. Prior to this position, Mr. Rakowich was the Senior Vice President/Director of the
company’s Mid-Atlantic region where he was responsible for expanding the reach of Prologis
to the leading logistics markets in the Midwest and Atlantic states.
Prior to joining Prologis, Mr. Rakowich spent nine years as a partner and principal with real
estate provider Trammell Crow Company in Los Angeles. Before that, he was a senior audit
and tax consultant for Price Waterhouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mr. Rakowich received
his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and his B.S., with distinction, in Accounting from The
Pennsylvania State University.
Mr. Rakowich currently serves on the board of directors of Host Hotels & Resorts, where he is
the company’s audit committee chairman and member of the governance committee; Iron
Mountain Inc., where he is chairman of the audit committee and member of the governance
and investment committees; and Ventas Inc., where he is chairman of the audit committee. All
three are companies listed in the S&P 500. He also serves on the advisory council of Gender
Fair. He has served as a member of the executive committee and the board of governors for
the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), the primary industry
group for REITs in the United States.
Mr. Rakowich was appointed to The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees in 2014
and serves as chairman of the university board’s audit and risk committee. In 2010, the Penn
State Alumni Association named Mr. Rakowich a Penn State Alumni Fellow, a lifetime
designation and the highest award given by the association, recognizing outstanding
professional achievement. He also has served on the real estate advisory boards of the Smeal
College of Business at Penn State, The Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt
University and The Kellogg Graduate school of Management. In addition, he served on the
Global Leadership Council at Colorado State University.
Mr. Rakowich currently serves as chairman of the board of Colorado UpLift and is a member of
the board of the Alliance for School Choice in Education (ACE) and of PIVOT, three non-profits
focused on educating at risk children in the inner city.
Mr. Rakowich has made several appearances on CNBC, CNN, Fox, Bloomberg and National
Public Radio and has been quoted in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Institutional
Investor and Forbes magazine, on behalf of the real estate industry and Prologis.
He is the author of Transfluence: How to Lead with Transformative Influence in Today’s
Climates of Change (Post Hill Press, September 2020).
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About Heather R Younger
Heather R Younger is a highly sought-after speaker, 2x-TEDx speaker, diversity, equity and inclusion strategist, and contributor to leading news outlets. She is also the Founder and CEO of Employee Fanatix, a leading employee engagement and consulting firm.
After over 25,000 employee engagement surveys and years of working with organizations to transform employee engagement, here’s what Heather has seen over and over:
When you know how to listen, employees will tell you exactly what they need to bring their full selves to work.