If you want to be an executive, billionaire, or US president, it’s a good idea to go to Harvard Business School.
Harvard offered the world’s first master’s in business administration program, and the Harvard MBA has since been a hallmark of the elite, with George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, and Michael Bloomberg all earning the degree.
We sifted through HBS’s sterling history to find the most powerful, prominent, and financially successful grads that came out of Cambridge.
An earlier version of this article was written by Richard Feloni and Drake Baer.
Sheryl Sandberg is largely credited with making Facebook profitable. The 1995 HBS alum initiated a global conversation about women and work with her bestselling book 'Lean In.'
Stephen R. Covey, class of 1957, became tremendously influential after publishing his bestselling book 'The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.'
After earning his MBA in 1942, Philip Caldwell took over as the first non-Ford to run Ford Motor Company, where he led one of the biggest turnarounds in American business history.
Henry Paulson, Jr. received his MBA in 1970 and then spent 32 years at Goldman Sachs, working his way up to CEO. From 2006-2009 he served as the US Treasury Secretary. Now he's chairman of the Paulson Institute, which promotes sustainable economic growth and a cleaner environment.
After getting his MBA in 1974, Mitt Romney had a long career with Bain Consulting. He was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and has since been a never-say-die presidential candidate.
Rehito 'Ray' Hatoyama joined the team at Sanrio Company (owner of the wildly popular Hello Kitty brand) when he graduated from HBS in '08. As managing director and COO, he's seen the market cap rise from $500 million to $3.5 billion in seven years.
Ann Moore earned her MBA in 1978 and went on to the top of the publishing industry, becoming the first female CEO of Time, Inc. in 2002. She is now running The Curator Gallery, a fine art gallery in New York City.
George W. Bush graduated from HBS in 1975 before working in the oil business, owning the Texas Rangers, becoming governor of Texas, and then serving as president of the United States from 2000 to 2008.
Ray McGuire is the head of global banking at Citigroup, Inc. After graduating in 1984, McGuire spent time as managing director of mergers and acquisitions at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. He also serves on several philanthropy boards.
Jim Koch, class of 1978, left management consulting to found Boston Beer Company, which makes Samuel Adams. A leader in the craft beer movement, he's now worth over $1 billion.
Ana Patricia Botín got her MBA in the '80s and is one of the most powerful banking executives in the world. She recently stepped up as executive chairwoman of Santander Group of Spain when her father died last year. Botín previously led the bank's UK branch.
Ray Dalio got his MBA in 1973 and is the highly influential founder and co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates. He's worth an estimated $15.2 billion.
Sheryl WuDunn graduated from HBS in 1986 and went on to become a private wealth advisor at Goldman Sachs and a business executive and journalist for The New York Times. She has co-authored four best-selling books and won a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting with her husband Nicholas Kristof.
After finishing his MBA in 1981, Chase Carey started a successful media career. He helped launch Fox News and FOXSports, was CEO of DirecTV; he is now the executive vice chairman of 21st Century Fox.
Jason Kilar, class of '97, spent 10 years as an executive at Amazon. He recently stepped down as CEO of Hulu to head streaming service Vessel, which raised $57.5 of Series B funding this spring. Vessel also recently expanded to Android.
Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp met at HBS where they graduated in 2010 and went on to cofound Birchbox together. The fast-growing beauty e-commerce service was valued at $485 million last year. Birchbox recently launched an Android app.
Jamie Dimon graduated from HBS in 1982. He's the chairman, president, and CEO of JPMorgan Chase and No. 18 on Forbes' list of the world's most powerful people. He recently became one of the few banking executives to become a billionaire.
Meg Whitman, MBA graduate of 1979, is the chairman, president, and CEO of Hewlett-Packard. She's currently leading HP through a major transformation, splitting the company into enterprise and hardware. She's worth an estimated $2 billion.
Robert Kraft, MBA graduate of 1965, is the chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group, which most notably owns the New England Patriots. He's worth an estimated $4.3 billion.
Len Blavatnik, class of 1989, is the richest man in Great Britain, with a net worth of $20.1 billion. His privately held industrial group Access Industries has investments in real estate, natural resources, and media. In 2013, he donated $50 million to his alma mater.
Jenn Hyman and Jenny Fleiss, both graduates of the class of 2009, met at HBS and went on to cofound Rent the Runway. The e-commerce fashion company has secured a total of $116 million in VC funding from investors including Kleiner Perkins and Highland Capital.
Bill Ackman has taken over Wall Street since his '92 MBA and turned Pershing Square Capital into a $12 billion hedge fund. Ackman has recently remodeled his image to become an 'activist investor.'
Walter Haas, Jr., class of 1939, succeeded his father as the CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. He grew Levi's from a regional California brand to one of the world's biggest apparel companies.
Michael Lynton, MBA graduate of 1987, is the CEO of Sony Entertainment and the chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures, which has produced a number of Oscar-nominated films. He also sits on Snapchat's board of directors.
Darren Huston, class of '94, became president and CEO of popular travel booking service The Priceline Group in early 2014 after spending almost three years as CEO of Microsoft Japan. Huston is also the CEO of Booking.com, and has served as senior vice president of branded products and new ventures at Starbucks.
Abigail Johnson got her MBA in 1988, which is also when she joined Fidelity Worldwide Investment. Today she serves as the chair of Fidelity; she ranks among the richest women in the world, with an estimated net worth of $13.3 billion.
Sal Khan, class of 2003, is the founder of the increasingly popular online learning site Khan Academy, which has received funding from the Gates Foundation and Google.
Jeffrey Immelt, class of 1982, is the chairman and CEO of General Electric. He was selected as Jack Welch's successor in 2001 has been named one of the 'World's Best CEOs' three times by Barron's.
Matt Salzberg graduated from Harvard Business School in 2010. He is the founder and CEO of Blue Apron, the New York-based meal planning and delivery service that was recently valued at $2 billion.
Michael Bloomberg received his MBA in 1966 and went on to found financial data company Bloomberg LP in 1981 before serving three terms as the mayor of New York City. An active philanthropist, Bloomberg has given more than $3.8 billion to good causes.
Mark Pincus, MBA graduate of 1993, is the cofounder of social media gaming company Zynga. He recently returned as the company's CEO and today he's worth around $1.11 billion.
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