Phenomenal Leadership: George Paz
George Paz, former CEO- now Chairman of Express Scripts, has grown the company into what it is now. Currently with a seat at the table, he continues to call the shots and influence the path of Express Scripts.
George Paz is the son of Mexican immigrants, who instilled in him the values of hard work, education and respect. Those values drove George to be the first in his family to get a college education, which gave him the foundation to build an extraordinary career as a business leader and a board member.
“From as early as I can remember, my father was adamant that we go to school and get an education,” said Paz. “We did not have much growing up, and we had to work for everything we had. I understood right away, that an education was a ticket to the kind of life he wanted us all to have.”
Paz’s father set an example, including his military service, of fulfilling commitments to others. That passion helped Paz reach great heights, such as his successful tenure as the Chief Executive Officer of Express Scripts from 2005 to 2016, leading a company that grew into a $100 billion Fortune 25 industry leader – a pharmacy benefit manager that helps people access medications. When Paz joined the company as Chief Financial Officer in 1998, he saw an opportunity to expand its capabilities to do even more to help patients, especially those who are underserved. Today, Express Scripts serves more than 80 million Americans, who benefit from the company’s innovative approach to making the use of medicine safer and more affordable.
Paz was named chairman of Express Scripts in 2006 and serves in that role today. He also is a member of the board of directors of two other companies: Honeywell International and Prudential. In addition, he is a board member of St. Louis University and Washington University in St. Louis; and is the chairman of the board of Logos School, a specialized therapy school in St. Louis.
He is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and has been a long-standing supporter of the school, so much so that he decided Express Scripts would be located on the university’s campus to provide educational partnerships and serve as an economic catalyst for the city’s North County region. In addition to his commitment to philanthropy and education, Paz has given back to the community in other ways, including having served as president of Civic Progress, a group of leaders who help grow the local economy and provide opportunities for all.
Diversity and inclusion are key attributes to Express Scripts as a company, and for its board. In addition to Paz, Express Scripts has three African-American directors and two female directors, making it one of the most diverse corporate boards in the United States.
Express Scripts CEO Tim Wentworth continues to build upon George’s commitment to diversity. At the company, nearly 70% of employees are women, 40% are minorities, and 10% are bilingual.
“Diversity and inclusion create a culture of unity that benefits everybody,” said Wentworth. “Employees feel part of something larger than themselves; they are no longer just members of a particular community or department, but part of a thoroughly diverse and unified company.”