JUNE 15 WAS JUST a typical news day in the business world, marked by acquisitions, public offerings, and changes in corporate leadership.

What the casual reader may not have realized was that the companies dominating the news that day are lead by GSB graduates.

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times announced that Goldman Sachs, the last major private investment bank, was going public. The firm is lead by cochairman Jon Corzine, ’74. Headlines also reported the sacking of "Chain Saw" Al Dunlap at Sunbeam; he was replaced by none other than Jerry Levin, ’68, the former chief operating officer of Revlon and the Coleman Company. And Nortel, the Canadian telecommunications equipment manufacturer, announced it was buying Bay Networks for $9.1 billion. Jean Monty, ’70, headed Nortel for the last five years and was recently named chief executive officer of BCE, Inc., Nortel’s parent company.

Corzine jokingly announced Goldman Sachs’s decision to go public in a speech to students on campus this winter. He then stated that the bank would remain private for the foreseeable future. (In fact, he was quoted to that effect in this magazine.) But times change, and so does the financial world; the vote to sell up to 15 percent of the firm shows that Corzine and the firm he leads are flexible enough to seize opportunity and adjust to a changing marketplace.

Levin and Monty demonstrate that our graduates have the vision and sound grasp of business fundamentals necessary to turn a business around. Levin, credited with making Revlon the leader in mass-market cosmetics, has been tapped to take over for Dunlap, perhaps the most high-profile turnaround artist. Monty, previously CEO of Bell Canada, took over the reins at Nortel in 1993 and refocused the lagging enterprise, with remarkable results (check out the accomplishments of Monty, one of our 1998 Distinguished Alumnus Award winners, here.) Monty’s leadership, which he described to our graduates at convocation here on campus the day before the acquisition was announced, left Nortel in a position to expand into vital areas of the telecommunications industry.

Our alumni are frequently in the news for their achievements, although they are not always recognized as GSB graduates. These three, concentrated on one day, just provide more proof that our graduates are succeeding at the highest levels of some of the world’s biggest companies. We at the GSB are always proud–but not surprised–to see evidence of this.

In my view, the GSB has four major constitutencies: current and prospective students; faculty; alumni; and the corporate community. When prominent alumni who are thought leaders in the corporate world appear on the front page, it honors across two of our constituencies. That’s good news for us.

Robert S. Hamada
Dean and Edward Eagle Brown Professor of Finance
A message from Dean Robert S. Hamada

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