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Davos! Love it or hate it, the annual shindig in the Swiss Alps never fails to attract the crème de la crème from politics, business and finance, and as usual there were plenty of MBAs among them.
Here’s a quick round-up of MBAs who made waves at this year’s World Economic Forum!
Sheryl Sandberg, Harvard Business School, class of 1995
Who is she? COO of Facebook, former World Bank executive and McKinsey consultant, protégé of Larry Summers and board member of fave charities of Hollywood in-crowd – V-Day and Women for Women
At Davos to promote her new book Lean In, which encourages women to be more ballsy and aggressive in pursuing career opportunities, contrary to the messages they’re fed growing up. Female participation at Davos is only 17 per cent so it’s a good place to start!
She says “I believe that the world would be a better place if half our institutions were run by women, and half our homes were run by men,”
Denis O'Brien, Boston College class of 1982
Who is he? Irish telecoms billionaire who started ESAT Digifone and still owns Digicel, the leading mobile network in the Caribbean. He diversified his business interests into commercial aircraft and media and is a resident of Malta
At Davos to have private meetings with: Hans Vestberg, CEO of Ericsson; Jacob Zuma; George Soros; Sunil Mittal, CEO of Bharti Airtel and Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone Group. He didn’t stay the night or attend a single panel discussion
He says “If you tried to have dinner with all the people I’m going to see today, you’d put on a stone of weight real fast.”
Jonathan K. Hsu, Wharton, class of 1998
Who is he? Founder and CEO of RecycleBank, which promotes sustainability by rewarding people for taking every day green actions with discounts and deals from more than 3,000 local and national businesses. Before that he was CEO of WPP-owned 24/7 Real Media and an investment banker at JP Morgan.
At Davos to discuss the way improved communication and connectivity afforded by the Internet can help solve real-world environmental and sustainability challenges. And promote RecycleBank of course!
He says “By taking small, real-world everyday actions our members can make a very large collective impact for both their communities and the overall environment”
Dr John Quelch, Wharton MBA and Harvard DBA
Who is he? British academic who is Dean of China’s top business school CEIBS. Previously Senior Associate Dean at Harvard Business School, Chairman of the Massachusetts Port Authority and Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Morocco to New England!
At Davos to recommend that British children are taught Chinese at school. The tens of thousands of Chinese students studying at UK universities could spend a year teaching in a UK school before taking up full-time work.
He says “There are thousands more Chinese studying in the UK than are studying in Germany but German trade flows to China are much greater.”
And finally… one to watch!
He doesn’t have an MBA (yet!) but BusinessBecause member Rajeeb Dey, 27, is the World Economic Forum’s youngest ever Young Global Leader. The Founder and CEO of Enternships.com helps students and graduates find work placements in start-ups and SMEs.
Rajeeb also leads UK government efforts to promote entrepreneurship as co-founder of Start-Up Britain and Ambassador for Enterpise UK.
He says “Starting @davos philanthropy dinner ft Salesforce founder @benioff& Sean Parker @sparker (napster/Facebook) #wef”. Check out more of Rajeeb's Davos adventures on his Twitter feed