The 25 Most Successful Wharton Business School Graduates

Nassim talebREUTERS/Shannon StapletonAuthor Nassim Taleb, Wharton MBA ’83.

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is one of the finest business schools in America, up there with the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School.

Since its founding in 1881 by industrialist Joseph Wharton, the school has produced grads in almost every sphere of influence, from Fred Wilson in venture capital to Mortimer Zuckerman in publishing and Nassim Taleb in economic philosophy.

We put together a list of Wharton’s most influential MBA graduates.

Laurence Tisch got his MBA in 1943 at age 20. Then he got into investing and media, eventually serving as CEO of CBS from 1986 to 1995.

Edmund T. Pratt, Jr., Class of '47, served as CEO of Pfizer Inc. from 1972 to 1991. He turned the pharma company into an international giant.

Yotaro Kobayashi finished at Wharton in '58. He's served as both CEO of Fuji Xerox Co. and the Asia Pacific chair of the Trilateral Commission.

J.D. Power, Class of '59, has changed the way we buy cars. His market research company J.D. Power & Associates has become a byword for high quality automobiles.

Robert Crandall got his MBA in 1960. He was the former firebrand president and chairman of American Airlines, and is credited with creating the frequent flier program.

Mortimer Zuckerman, Class of '61, is worth an estimated $US2.4 billion. He's a real estate and media mogul, and owns the New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report.

After finishing at Wharton in '63, John Sculley went on to run two world-spanning brands: Pepsi and Apple. He also had the honour of firing Steve Jobs.

Edward E. Crutchfield, Class of '65, became the CEO of First Union Bank (eventually acquired by Wells Fargo) in 1994 and grew its revenue from $US7 billion to $US258 billion in six years.

Ron Perelman, Class of '66, became a prominent investor through his company MacAndrews & Forbes Holding Inc. He's worth an estimated $US14.4 billion.

Lewis E. Platt, Class of '66, served as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1992 to 1999.

Alfred R. Berkeley III finished his MBA in 1968. He was president of NASDAQ from 1996 until 2000.

Peter Lynch, Class of '68, is an investor well-known for his writings. Under Lynch, Fidelity Investment's Magellan Fund was the top-ranked general equity mutual fund in the US.

Peter Nicholas received his MBA in 1968 and cofounded Boston Scientific in 1979, growing it into a multi-billion dollar global manufacturer of medical equipment.

A Wharton grad of '76, Harold McGraw III took the family publishing business to new heights, expanding McGraw-Hill International into over 35 countries.

Rakesh Gangwal (right), Class of '79, grew US Airways' market cap from $US800 million to $US8 billion in less than three years as its CEO. He serves on the boards of OfficeMax and PetSmart.

Laura Lang received her MBA in 1980 and went on to become the CEO of Time, Inc. from 2011 to 2013.

Bill DeLaney earned his MBA in 1982 and worked his way up through Sysco, becoming its CEO in 2009. He received a compensation package of $US10.9 million last year.

Nassim Taleb finished his Wharton MBA in '83. He's published books like 'Fooled By Randomness' and 'The Black Swan,' both of which foretold financial catastrophe.

Ruth Porat got her MBA in 1987. As the CFO of Morgan Stanley, she's widely referred to as the most powerful woman on Wall Street.

Fred Wilson, Class of '87, is the cofounder of Union Square Ventures. He's invested in Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare.

Gerard Kleisterlee, Class of '91, is the chair of Vodafone. As CEO of Philips from 2001 to 2010, he streamlined the company into a high-growth, high-tech business.

William Wrigley, Jr. II, Class of '94, is the chair of his family's eponymous confectionery business, which he sold to Mars Candy for $US23 billion in 2008. He's worth $US2.6 billion.

Alfred C. Liggins III, Class of '95, became CEO of Radio One in 1997. He took the company public and grew it into the largest African-American-owned broadcasting company in the US.

Alex Gorsky, Class of '96, has been the CEO of Johnson & Johnson since 2012 and also serves on the board of IBM. He received a pay package of $US16.9 million last year.

Now check out the alumni from another elite Ivy League b-school...

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