Harvard Business School Notable Alumni | 18 Famous MBAs

Billionaires, tech entrepreneurs, and even a president are counted among Harvard Business School's notable MBA alumni

Harvard Business School notable alumni | Harvard's 112 year old campus has housed some notable alums ©Florian Pilz

8. Robert McNamara


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©John F Kennedy Presidential Library


MBA Class of 1939

Former US Secretary of Defence

When President John F. Kennedy asked Robert McNamara to be his Secretary of Defense, Robert replied that he didn’t know anything about government.

It became a quick education for him. Robert played a key role in de-escalating the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and in general is credited for reducing the Pentagon’s willingness to deploy its nuclear arsenal. 

Later, he became president of the World Bank. 


9. Robert Kraft


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©BrokenSphere


MBA Class of 1965

Billionaire sports investor

Not to be confused with Kraft Foods, Robert Kraft’s Kraft Group is a diversified holdings company in everything from sports and entertainment to real estate. 

His sports portfolio includes the six-time super bowl winning New England Patriots, as well as soccer team New England Revolution. He has recently made a foray into eSports, buying the eSports team Boston Uprising. 


10. Mitt Romney 


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©Gage Skidmore


MBA Class of 1975

Republican senator

Former Bain & Company CEO Mitt Romney will be remembered by most for his failed presidential bid in 2012 against the incumbent Barack Obama. 

As the senator for Utah, Mitt, in voting to impeach President Trump, became the first and only senator to vote to convict a president of their own party. 


11. Stephen Schwarzman


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©World Economic Forum


MBA Class of 1972

Co-founder of Blackstone Group

In 1985, Stephen Schwarzman left Lehman Brothers with a fellow employee and set up the Blackstone Group. 

It made Stephen a multi-billionaire, and Blackstone is now the world’s largest alternative investment firm. 


12. Jeffrey Skilling


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©US Marshals Service


MBA Class of 1979

Former CEO of Enron

Jeffrey Skilling was the man at the top, and arguably responsible for, one of the most notorious corporate scandals of the 21st century—Enron. 

Jeffrey covered up around $60 billion of debt, leading to the energy company’s collapse. He served 13 years in prison. 


13. George W. Bush


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©US National Archives


MBA Class of 1975

43rd President of the USA

George W. Bush followed in his family’s footsteps into politics, first becoming the Governor of Texas, before being elected as the 43rd president of the United States. 

He famously led America into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while infamously oversaw the country’s disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Bush Jr. remains the only US president to have earned an MBA. 


14. Jennifer Hyman & 15. Jennifer Fleiss


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©TechCrunch ; ©Harvard Business School


MBA Class of 2009

Founders of Rent The Runway

Clothes sharing economy platform Rent The Runway was born when Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss met on their MBA in 2009.

The site allows users to rent, rather than buy, renowned designer clothing—an idea conceived by Hyman after seeing her own sister agonize over her outfit choice for a wedding.  


16. Ulf Mark Schneider


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©Fresenius SE


MBA Class of 1993 

CEO of Nestle

German-born Ulf Mark Schneider is the current CEO of global fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) giant Nestle, appointed to the role in 2016. 

He was named for the role after 15 years at the top of multibillion dollar healthcare group Fresenius. 


17. Mark Pincus


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©Christopher Michel


MBA Class of 1993

Co-founder and former CEO of Zynga

Internet entrepreneur Mark Pincus has been behind several internet-based companies; his fourth, Zynga, is the most renowned. 

Zynga is the game developer behind games like FarmVille and Words With Friends. The company went public in 2011 with a $1 billion initial public offering (IPO). 


18. Andy Jassy

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MBA Class of 1997

CEO of Amazon

Amazon’s new CEO, taking over from Jeff Bezos, rose to prominence after founding Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2003. Andy Jassy was hired by Amazon within days of completing his Harvard MBA, the same year the firm went public.

Since Andy joined, Amazon has grown to a valuation of more than $1 trillion. Andy is also part owner of National Hockey League team Seattle Kraken.


Learn about more notable alumni from top schools like Stanford, Wharton, and Columbia.

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