Money Talk

Episode 97

George T. Shaheen & Gerald L. Shaheen

The identical twin Shaheen brothers, George and Gerry, are from Elmwood, Illinois, year 2005 population 1,889; they, together with their elder sister, Charlotte, are the children of foreign born Louis and Charlotte Shaheen. Both twins received their “hands on” undergraduate education by bagging groceries and trimming meat at the Elmwood/Shaheen grocery store; as teenagers, they managed the grocery operation during their father’s medical leave.

George, senior to Gerry by 15 minutes, earned his BA and MBA in marketing from Bradley University, and then joined Andersen Consulting – at one time, the world’s largest consulting firm and a subsidiary of Andersen Worldwide. He spent 32 years at Andersen and stood to collect a $10 million bonus, plus additional payouts from the group’s venture investments if he had remained with Andersen for an additional 11 months. But, in September of 1999, before the 11-month period expired, George was recruited by Louis Borders, the founder of the bookseller, The Borders Group, Inc., to head up the WebVan Group with a salary of $500,000 — a ninth of his Andersen compensation. At WebVan, George held 1.25 million shares of stock in addition to 15 million options. If WebVan succeeded, George’s stake would have been worth at least $100 million. The ultimate economic destination of WebVan is the subject of a Harvard Business School study published on October 17, 2001, No. 9-602-037. George has served as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Kellogg School at Northwestern University, a trustee at Bradley University and as a member of the Board of Directors of 24/7 Customer, Network Appliance, newScale, Inc., Siebel Systems, think3 and Closedloop Solutions.

Gerry likewise earned his BA and MBA in marketing from Bradley University and then joined Caterpillar as a staff assistant. He spent his entire career with Caterpillar and was elected as a Vice President of Caterpillar overseas in charge of its Europe, Africa, Middle East and former Soviet Union operations; he ultimately retired as a Group President with responsibilities over more than 12,000 employees. Gerry is a past chairman of the United States Chamber of Commerce, is the lead director of AGCO Corp., a global leader focused on the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery and serves as a Board member of Ford, Aquila, UtiliCorp United, Association of Equipment Manufacturers and Mineral Information Institute. His charitable activities include Board memberships of OSF, National MS Society and Peoria Next.

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