The Most Successful Harvard MBAs

Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley is among the many highly influential execs with a Harvard MBA

Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley is among the many highly influential execs with a Harvard MBA

The Most Successful Harvard B-School Graduates


“I’d rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the Manhattan phone book than the entire faculty of Harvard.”

Remember that gem from William F. Buckley Jr.? Mind you, a handful of Harvard faculty members have made the transition to elected government (witness Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Elizabeth Warren). For the most part, Harvard’s biggest leadership contributions have come from business school students. And it’s quite an enviable list.

Sure, The usual power players populate the founder and CEO ranks. But you’ll also find a former American president and governor (along with a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff). And did I mention a few convicted felons too?

This week, Business Insider compiled a list, featuring alumni from the MBA program. And it’s not just bluebloods and billionaires. Check out this list of the big names who’ve passed through HBS on their way to wealth, power, and (occasionally) infamy.

Walter Haas (’39): Former CEO of Levi Strauss & Co.

Robert S. McNamara (’39): Former Secretary of Defense

Philip Caldwell (’42): Former CEO of Ford Motor Company

Stephen Covey (’57): Author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Robert Kraft (’65): Chairman of the Kraft Group (and owner of the New England Patriots)


Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg (’66): Founder of Bloomberg and former mayor of New York City

George Kaiser (’66): Founder of BOK Financial

Henry Paulson (’70): Former Goldman Sachs CEO and U.S. Treasury Secretary

Stephen Schwarzman (’72): Chairman and CEO of the Blackstone Group

Ray Dalio (’73): Found of Bridgewater Associates

Mitt Romney (’74): Former Massachusetts Governor and Presidential Candidate

George W. Bush (’75): Former President of the United States

Jim Koch (’78): Founder of Samuel Adams Beer

Jamie Dimon

Jamie Dimon

Anne Moore (’78): Former CEO of Time, Inc.

Meg Whitman (’79): Chairman and CEO of Hewlett Packard

Dan Bricklin (’79): Inventor of Spreadsheets

John Paulson (’80): Founder of Paulson & Company

Chase Carey (’81): President of News Corp

Jamie Dimon (’82): Chairman of JPMorgan Chase

Jeffrey Immelt (’82): Chairman and CEO of General Electric

Michael Lynton (’87): CEO of Sony Entertainment and Sony Pictures

Abigail Johnson (’88): Chair of Fidelity Worldwide Investment

Bill Ackman (’92): Founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital

Mark Pincus (’93): Co-Founder of Zynga

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg (’95): COO of Facebook and author of Lean In

Sal Khan (’03): Founder of Khan Academy

Wow! Dimon and Immelt were classmates! So were GM’s Rick Wagoner and P&G’s A.G. Lafley. And Bush and Romney were only a class apart? Actually, there were plenty of distinguished graduates that Business Insider couldn’t fit into their list. Want to see some other surprises? Check out Poets&Quants’ expanded list of distinguished HBS alumni:

Donald Carty (’71): Former Chairman and CEO of American Airlines

Rajat Gupta (’73): Former Managing Director of McKinsey & Co. Currently serving time at Devens Federal Medical Center in Ayer, MA.

Daniel D’Aniello (’74): Co-Founder of the Carlyle Group

Robert Nardelli (’75): Former CEO of Home Depot

Elaine Chao

Elaine Chao

John Hess (’77): CEO of Hess Corporation

A.G. Lafley (’77): Chairman of Procter & Gamble

Rick Wagoner (’77): Former Chairman & CEO of General Motors

Jeffrey Skilling (’79): Former CEO Of Enron. He goes by the name of 29296-179 in Littleton, Colorado.

John Thain (’79): Former CEO of Merrill Lynch and Chairman of the CIT Group

Elaine Chao (’79): Former U.S. Secretary of Labor

Grover Norquist (’81): President of Americans for Tax Reform

Zoe Cruz (’82): Former Co-President of Morgan Stanley

Gerald Storch (’82): Chairman and CEO of Toys “R” Us

Ron Johnson (’84): Former President of J.C. Penney

Fritz Henderson (’89): Former President of General Motors

Angela Hicks Bowman

Angela Hicks Bowman

Cynthia Carroll (’89): CEO of Anglo American

Gideon Yu (’99): Co-Owner of the San Francisco 49ers (and former CFO of YouTube and Facebook)

Liam Byrne (‘00): Education Minister in the United Kingdom

Angela Hicks Bowman (’00): Co-Founder of Angie’s List


Source: Business Insider

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