2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors: Daniel McCarthy, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School

Congrats to Daniel McCarthy of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School for being named a 2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professor.

Daniel McCarthy 

Emory University’s Goizueta Business School

“Dan McCarthy is a unique combination of teacher, researcher, and practitioner. From investors to managers, business leaders need to understand the true value of companies, but many of the traditional methods are outdated and incomplete. To address this, Dan developed customer-based corporate valuation, emphasizing the critical role customer lifetime value plays in driving a company’s success. His course on customer lifetime value is so groundbreaking that Business Insider published a piece about it last summer. I can’t count how many students have called it the best course they took at Goizueta.”Gareth James, John H. Harland Dean of Goizueta Business School

Daniel McCarthy, 39, is an assistant professor of marketing at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. His research specialty is the application of leading-edge statistical methodology to contemporary empirical marketing problems. His research interests include customer lifetime value, limited data problems, and the marketing/finance interface. 

He popularized customer-based corporate valuation (CBCV), a methodology that drives any traditional valuation model off of the underlying behaviors of the target company’s customers. His work has been featured in major media outlets such as the Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Wall Street Journal, FT, Fortune, Barron’s, Inc Magazine, The Economist, and CNBC. His research has been accepted and published in top-tier academic journals including the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, and the Journal of Marketing. His research has won numerous research awards, including the Don Lehmann Award, the Robert Lavidge Award, the ISMS Gary Lillien Practice Prize, and the MSI Clayton Award. 

McCarthy co-founded and was chief statistician for Zodiac, a predictive customer analytics SaaS firm. Nike acquired Zodiac in March 2018. Dan has since co-founded Theta to revolutionize how firms (e.g., private equity, venture capital, and operating companies directly) value companies through CBCV.


At current institution since what year? 2017


  • Ph.D., Statistics. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (2017)
  • B.Sc. Econ., Summa Cum Laude, Statistics and Finance. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (2006)
  • BAS, Summa Cum Laude, Systems Science Engineering. School of Engineering of the University of Pennsylvania (2006)

List of MBA courses you currently teach: Customer Lifetime Valuation


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I was taking an undergraduate course on Time Series Analysis at Wharton with a mentor of mine, J. Michael Steele.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I am currently researching how we can apply state-of-the-art time series deep learning models to better predict the customer-led behaviors that drive company revenue. These methods can work remarkably well relative to traditional approaches.

If I weren’t a business school professor… I would be a tech entrepreneur.

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? I absolutely love what I teach. I genuinely care about my students. I also live what I study in that I have co-founded two businesses that are focused on the same subjects that I teach and conduct research about. Finally, I regularly discuss and am interviewed about current events as they pertain to these topics.

One word that describes my first time teaching: Nervous

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: the value of making the class both entertaining and informative.

Professor I most admire and why: Peter Fader, Wharton marketing professor. He is one of the best teachers and mentors I have ever interacted with. 


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? They have enough real-world experience to have a good sense of what ideas and frameworks could be useful in practice, while still being receptive and open-minded to ones that are more foreign to them. 

What is most challenging? Teaching one curriculum to students that have very diverse and unique needs.

In a word, describe your favorite type of student: Geek

In a word, describe your least favorite type of student: Closed-minded

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as…  as fair as possible.


What are your hobbies? Running and anime

How will you spend your summer? Researching!

Favorite place(s) to vacation: The beach (which my daughter loves) and international locations (which my wife loves).

Favorite book(s): Fooled by Randomness

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? Memento. The notion of time was perfectly well-conveyed. 


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… experiential learning.

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… understanding and leveraging the value that they derive from the unique needs and values of their customers.

I’m grateful for… how blessed and lucky I have been, to have been born into a loving and supportive family that made me who I am.



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