Eric is the kind of leader you wish there were more of in the corporate world, embracing the idea of stewardship and understanding the success of his or any company as a cooperative effort of everyone on the roster. His commitment to employee satisfaction was more than lip service; he met every new hire, built a strong program of employee recognition, and knew many FCHP employees by first name no matter their position on the org chart. To the extent that Eric’s influence on the corporate culture was felt, it was a good place to work.
Even with a dog in the hunt, so to speak, Eric’s presentation to FCHP employees on health care reform — just as the town-hall phase of the national debate was subsiding — showed extraordinary fairness and sensitivity to the diversity of opinions represented in the room.
Worcester saw Eric as a leader in the business community, not just as one of its large employers, but because of his charisma and sincere interest in the city’s people and history. He serves as president of the area’s Boy Scout council. FCHP charitable giving went well beyond its PR value under his leadership, reflecting his and FCHP’s commitment to making a more holistic contribution in the community that goes beyond creating jobs, running a successful business, paying taxes, and serving customers.
Bridging two constituencies — FCHP employees and the surrounding community — Eric’s leadership team came up with an innovative and popular program called “Pay It Forward”, where employees are chosen at random to direct portions of FCHP charitable giving to local 501C organizations to which they had some connection.
Among many reasons, Harvard Pilgrim has chosen Schultz because of his understanding of — and relative success navigating — the complex regulatory and economic landscape of Massachusetts’ public-private health care system, as well as his visibility in the fight by payers against rising provider-side costs. Hopefully he will be undaunted in his new role by the difference in scale of the two companies and markets, and the structural limitations that keep private health care from controlling medical costs.
Harvard Pilgrim and its employees and customers should be happy and excited that they are getting a good guy and a great leader.