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Wharton's Schmittlein named new MIT Sloan dean

David C. Schmittlein is the next dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management, effective Oct. 15.
David C. Schmittlein is the next dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management, effective Oct. 15.

David C. Schmittlein of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School has been selected as the next John C Head III Dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management, effective Oct. 15 Provost L. Rafael Reif announced.

Schmittlein, who served as Wharton's deputy dean for seven years and as its interim dean this July, is a noted scholar, a widely published author and commentator and an international marketing consultant.

"Dean Schmittlein will be able to hit the ground running when he arrives. He already has deep experience in many of the program areas in which MIT Sloan is active, such as MIT Sloan's collaborations with business schools in China," Reif said, adding that the new dean had overseen similar initiatives with management schools in China and India during his tenure at Wharton.

"I am confident that Dean Schmittlein will continue the MIT Sloan tradition of developing effective, innovative, and principled leaders who improve the world," Reif said.

A native of Northampton, Mass., Schmittlein, 52, described the MIT Sloan appointment as both a homecoming and a great honor.

"No school of management in the world has a greater history of association with ideas that matter and with the kind of thought leadership that can transform both businesses and economies than MIT Sloan," he said.

Schmittlein is well known for his research on the impact of a firm's marketing actions, designing market and survey research, and creating effective communication strategies. His current work focuses on marketing research methods.

Schmittlein joined the Wharton School in 1980 and served as a leading administrator and faculty member for more than 25 years.

He was the founding director of Wharton's interdepartmental M.B.A. major, managing electronic commerce. He has served as the chair of the marketing department, the vice dean and director of doctoral programs and the co-director of Wharton's Center for Marketing Strategy Research.

Schmittlein currently serves on the international advisory board for Groupe HEC, the leading French business school, and on the academic advisory board for the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai.

As a consultant, he has assisted in the design and analysis of market research for world-class manufacturing and service firms including American Express, AT&T, Bausch & Lomb, Boston Scientific, Ford Motor Company, Gianni Versace S.p.A., Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Pfizer, Revlon, Siebe PLC, the Oakland Raiders, Quaker Oats Co., and Time Warner.

Schmittlein received his B.A. in mathematics from Brown University and a Ph.D. and M.Phil. in business from Columbia University. He is a member of the American Marketing Association, the American Statistical Association, and the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences.

In announcing Schmittlein's appointment, Reif praised Howard W. Johnson Professor of Economics and Management Richard Schmalensee, who served as dean of MIT Sloan for nine years.

"Selecting a successor to Dick Schmalensee was a challenge. In his nine-year tenure, he steered the School with vision, strong leadership, and unflagging principle. His legacy will be shaped in part by his vision for a new MIT Sloan building as a centerpiece of MIT's East Campus," Reif said.

Reif thanked Steven Eppinger, current interim dean of MIT Sloan, for his leadership. The provost also expressed gratitude to members of the search committees.

The internal MIT search advisory committee was chaired by Professor Gabriel Bitran (deputy dean, MIT Sloan) and also included MIT Sloan professors Robert S. Gibbons, Rebecca M. Henderson, Nelson Repenning, Antoinette Schoar and JoAnne Yates; Charles L. Cooney (chemical engineering) and Edward S. Steinfeld (political science).

Lawrence K. Fish, a member of the Executive Committee of the MIT Corporation, chairman and CEO of Citizens Financial Group, chaired the group of external advisors. Other advisors included Alexander d'Arbeloff, co-founder and former CEO of Teradyne, honorary chairman of the MIT Corporation, and professor of the practice at MIT Sloan; MIT Corporation members Gururaj (Desh) Deshpande, founder and chairman of Sycamore Networks, Carly Fiorina, former chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Judy C. Lewent, former executive vice president and CFO of Merck, and John S. Reed, former chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and former chairman and CEO of Citigroup; Charles E. Harper, executive chairman and co-founder of Sierra Monolithics; and Mary Puma, chairman and CEO of Axcelis.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 12, 2007 (download PDF).

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