2022 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors: Maxime Cohen, McGill University, Desautels Faculty of Management


Maxime Cohen

McGill University, Desautels Faculty of Management

“Maxime exhibits and embodies the best characteristics one could look for in a professor. Maxime is passionate and knowledgeable about his research – always pushing the boundaries of what is feasible by bringing academic research to industry application which inspires students to do more of both. He is always open to coaching by applying critical thinking and fostering exchanges in and out of the classroom; and he promotes the work and contribution of his students, colleagues and university in a remarkable way. He is a true inspiration in his field and Montreal, Quebec, Canada and McGill University are lucky to have him.” – Selena Zhu

Maxime Cohen, 38, is a Professor of Retail and Operations Management at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management.

Cohen is the Scale AI Chair Professor of Retail and Operations Management and co-director of the Retail Innovation Lab at McGill University’s Bensadoun School of Retail Management. He was selected as one of the 2022 Top Retail Influencers by Rethink Retail and has received several research and teaching awards. He serves on the editorial board of four academic journals. 

He is also the Chief AI Officer at ELNA Medical, a scientific advisor in AI and data science at IVADO Labs, and he serves on the advisory board of several startups.


At current institution since what year?

MIT (PhD), Technion (BS, MS)

List of MBA courses you currently teach: 
Operations Management; AI and Analytics for Managers


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I realized the multi-dimensional aspect of this career (teaching, research, supervising graduate students, consulting opportunities) and that I could have a direct impact on future generations of managers.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? My research is at the interface of Data Science and Operations Management. My main goal is to help companies leverage their data to enhance operational decisions, while at the same time keeping a strong focus on societal benefits. One of my recent projects focused on imposing notions of fairness in the context of pricing decisions.

If I weren’t a business school professor… I would have been an entrepreneur. 

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? All my lectures involve real-world case studies, which are often based on my own experience working with companies.

One word that describes my first time teaching: Over-prepared

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: It’s impossible to satisfy every single student.

Professor I most admire and why: I can think of so many names. The top 3 would be Georgia Perakis (my PhD advisor from MIT), Anindya Ghose (mentor and co-author from NYU), and Gad Allon (mentor and co-author from Wharton).


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? Helping them realize that data analytics and AI can have a significant impact on business decisions.

What is most challenging? The heterogeneity in technical background and skillset makes it difficult to design lectures that are appreciated by all students.

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Hungry

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Slacker

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Fair


What are your hobbies? Spending time with family and working with startups.

How will you spend your summer? Moving into a new house! Also, I will be writing an exciting new case study for my students next year. 

Favorite place(s) to vacation: New York City

Favorite book(s): Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? The Profit. Interestingly, this show has a similar spirit to my Operations Management course.

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? I don’t really have a favorite type of music or artist. It just depends on my mood.


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… Experiential learning and real-world problem-solving in collaboration with companies.

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… Talent retention.

I’m grateful for… My wife, my family, and all the inspiring people I’ve met along the way.


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