Cornell University Notable Alumni | 10 Famous MBAs
From CEOs to politicians, here are 10 notable alumni from Cornell University’s MBA program
Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management is renowned for its full-time MBA program. The degree was launched in 1946 and has since launched graduates into careers at some of the world’s biggest companies.
The Cornell Johnson MBA is ranked 17th in the world and 11th in the US by the Financial Times
Cornell MBA students are located in Ithaca, New York for the duration of their program, close to major cities including New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.
Here are the most notable alumni from Cornell University’s MBA.
1. Mark T. Bertolini
CEO of Bridgewater Associates
Class of 1989
Mark graduated with an MBA in 1989, after doing an undergraduate degree at Wayne State University in Detroit. He joined the Fortune 50 healthcare benefits company in 2003 and was made CEO in 2010.
After Aetna was sold to CVS, Mark moved into financial management, becoming co-CEO of Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest hedge funds in the world. He is also on the board of directors for Verizon.
2. David Duffield
©Dave Duffield Foundation on Facebook
Class of 1964
Before receiving his MBA from Cornell in 1964, David achieved a bachelor’s degree in software engineering. He went on to become an entrepreneur and founded two software companies after the age of 40: PeopleSoft and Workday.
PeopleSoft went on to become the second-largest application software company, while SaaS company Workday is now valued at $9.5 billion.
3. Anne Chow
CEO AT&T Business
Class of 1990
As well as her MBA, Anne Chow also did her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering at Cornell. When she accepted the position of CEO at AT&T Business in 2019, she became the first woman to hold the position and the first woman of color in AT&T’s history.
Anne is also the co-author of a bestselling book on unconscious bias in business and has also served on the board of directors for companies including the Girl Scouts of the USA and the Asian American Justice Center.
4. Randy Papadellis
Former President and CEO of Ocean Spray
Class of 1981
After his Cornell MBA, Randy built a 35-year career in the food and beverage industry. He majored in marketing during his MBA, and after graduating took roles at global brands like Lays, Schweppes, and Welch’s.
He was appointed President and CEO of Ocean Spray Cranberries in 2002 and held the position for 16 years.
5. Herbert Fisk Johnson
Chairman and CEO SC Johnson & Son, Inc
Class of 1984
Herbert did all of his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Cornell, including a master’s in applied physics and a PhD. Three years after graduating with his MBA, Herbert joined his family’s company, SC Johnson—the namesake of Cornell’s College of Business.
As well as working in senior management roles both nationally and internationally for SC Johnson, Herbert has been recognized for his philanthropy and activism, including in raising awareness of ocean plastic pollution.
6. Dan Hesse
Former CEO Sprint Nextel
Class of 1977
Dan graduated with a bachelor’s degree in government and international studies in 1975 and shortly after moved to Ithaca to get his MBA. He started his career as an intern at AT&T and was later made CEO of their International division based in the Netherlands.
In 2007, Dan was named CEO of Sprint Corporation, one of the US’ largest mobile network operators. In a period of customer dissatisfaction, Dan focused on increasing customer service, forging partnerships with technology companies including Apple, and launching more retail stores.
7. Angela Mwanza
Angela Mwanza receives the Robert J. Swieringa Young Alumni Service Award from Cornell Johnson dean. ©Cornell Johnson Facebook
Managing Director of UBS Private Wealth Management
Class of 2000
Angela achieved a master’s degree at the University of Konstanz, Germany, before moving to the US to get her MBA from Cornell. In the early years of her finance career, she worked as an associate at JP Morgan and Vice President of Bank of America.
Since 2008, she has been managing director of the private wealth management department of global financial services firm UBS. Angela was also a founding member of the United Nations Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council.
8. Jim Bridenstine
Former Administrator of NASA
Class of 2009
Before joining Cornell, Jim was in the United States Navy. However, at the end of his active duty, he took a role at Wyle Laboratories, a defense consulting firm. In 2008, he was made executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and got his MBA shortly after.
After three years in the House of Representatives, Jim was chosen by President Donald Trump as the 13th administrator of NASA.
9. Brett Keller
CEO of Priceline
Class of 1997
After graduating with a bachelor’s in Japanese with a minor in business, Brett moved to Japan to work in marketing for Seiko Instruments. After two years, he moved back to the US to get his MBA from Cornell.
After graduating, he took the role of Director of Marketing at Priceline—an online travel agency—a company he has remained at for 23 years. As well as becoming Chief Marketing Officer, Brett also held the role of Chief Operating Officer before becoming CEO in 2016.
10. Amane Nakashima
Chairman of Kewpie Corp. and President of Nakashimoto Co.
Class of 1989
Amane achieved an undergraduate degree in economics from Waseda University in Tokyo before moving to the US to get his MBA. He has been President of Nakashimoto Co.—a food distribution company based in Japan—since 1993, a role that has also included management of Legrand Filles et Fils, one of Paris’ most renowned wine businesses.
Amane is also Chairman of the Board for Kewpie Corp., Japan’s leading manufacturer of mayonnaise.
Learn about more notable alumni from top schools like Stanford, NYU, and UC Berkeley.