Alston D. “Pete” Correll

(b. 1941)

Correll, former head of Georgia-Pacific, was an old-school CEO. He worked harder than anyone else (regularly clocking seventy-hour weeks), earned lots of money for his shareholders (the stock price jumped well over 35 percent when private Koch Industries bought out GP in 2005), and has served on countless nonprofit boards. He can make things happen with a single phone call. For example, when he heard that Ebenezer Baptist’s renovation had stalled for lack of funding, he got ten companies to donate $100,000 each—in one afternoon. Though outgoing Grady Health System CEO Michael Young has gotten much of the glory for the beleaguered hospital’s turnaround, it was board chair Correll who asked the Woodruff Foundation for $200 million over lunch. The funds helped finance Grady’s renovations and convince Young to take the job.

Family Ties Three framed neckties hang in Correll’s office. They are from Correll’s Men’s Store, his family’s former business in Brunswick, where he learned his work ethic. When he was twelve years old, his father passed away, leaving Pete and his mother to run the store on their own.