John Hanke, MBA 96
He put the earth in your pocket, and now he’s unleashed pocket monsters on the earth.
John Hanke, MBA 96, the CEO of Niantic Labs, is the driving force behind Pokémon Go, the hottest craze to hit smartphones—ever. Since its release in July, the augmented reality game has sent millions of phone-toting players to the streets on the hunt for animated Japanese characters that pop up with the help of location services. Within three days of its release, the number of active users surpassed Twitter, and media have hailed the game as a cultural phenomenon.
Hanke, who led the development of Google Earth, Maps, and StreetView, is no stranger to propelling breakthrough technology into the mainstream. As a Haas MBA student in the 1990s, he co-founded a company that developed one of the first online games to allow hundreds of people to play together in a virtual environment.
Harnessing big data to make the best managerial decisions is still an evolving science. Enter the Data Science & Strategy Video Lecture Series, which aims to illustrate how data can solve business problems. Haas lecturer Greg LaBlanc interviews executives and data science practitioners from companies including Accenture, Facebook, Hotwire, Wells Fargo, and more. Listen to David Reiley, principal scientist at Pandora, talk about controlled experiments measuring the effects of advertising. Or Tatsiana Maskalevich, data science manager at fashion subscription service Stitch Fix, talk about measuring and evaluating human decisions.
Shantanu Narayen, MBA 93
This year’s list of Barron’s top 30 Global CEOs included ten newcomers, among them Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, MBA 93. Narayen masterminded the software giant’s resurgence, transitioning Adobe’s desktop publishing suite into a behemoth in the world of cloud-based services for content creators of all stripes. Under Narayen’s leadership, the San Jose, Calif.-based company has built a formidable culture of innovation, expanded into new markets, and extended its product portfolio and global reach.
This spring, when 24 teams of inventors vied for $1 million in the new reality show “America’s Greatest Makers,” they relied on business and Lean LaunchPad fundamentals courtesy of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship. The show, from the creator of “Shark Tank” in conjunction with Intel, tasked teams with developing a wearable or smart device using the Intel Curie—a button-sized computer designed for wearable tech. André Marquis, MBA 96, the Lester Center’s executive director, and Lester Center Senior Fellow Mark Searle, along with Elizabeth Saunders, a program manager at the UC Berkeley Center for Executive Education, mentored the teams in San Francisco and Los Angeles, where the TBS show was filmed. A gaming toothbrush called Grush took home the big prize. Season two is now in the works.
Longtime Haas Finance Professor Ben Hermalin became a key leader for Berkeley when he became vice provost for the faculty in July. Hermalin now oversees all faculty appointments and promotions and develops strategies concerning diversity and equity; faculty welfare, recruitment, and retention; and academic planning and budget reform.
Introducing Boost, the new name of the Young Entrepreneurs at Haas (YEAH) program, which for 26 years has helped Bay Area students from under-resourced communities be the first in their families to go to college. Bay Area high school students will still work with Haas MBA students for entrepreneurial training and mentoring, but the program has evolved to include a summer internship program and an alumni program for the nearly 1,000 graduates. The branding was developed by a team of MBA students. YEAH/Boost grads have a 100 percent high-school completion and college placement rate. And this year, a record-setting six students were admitted to Berkeley.
Ryan Murphy, BS 17
Berkeley-Haas was in the house at the summer Olympic games in Rio, with two members of the community competing. Undergrad Ryan Murphy, BS 17, killed it with his backstroke, winning three gold medals for the U.S.— in the men’s 100-meter (with an Olympic record time of 51.97 seconds), 200-meter, and relay events. Haasies have a history of success with the backstroke. Bengt Baron, BS 85, MBA 88, the CEO of Cloetta, also won Olympic gold in the 100-meter race representing Sweden in 1980. New alumnus Ryan Patterson, BS 16, competed in men’s gymnastics in the all-around. Patterson, who was born in South Africa but grew up in Pacifica, Calif., comprised the entire South African team, marking the first time in over 50 years that country has sent a squad to the games.
One way for your company’s brand and culture to thrive is with a signature story, says Haas Professor Emeritus David Aaker, widely considered the father of modern branding. A new article co-authored with his daughter, Jennifer L. Aaker, a Stanford marketing professor, explains how an intriguing, authentic, involving narrative with a strategic message can transform your business. “What Are Your Signature Stories?” was published in the spring California Management Review and is available to read in its entirety. Learn how to find, evaluate, and market your signature story at haas.org/signature-stories. Hear the Aakers talk branding at the Alumni Celebration at the Gap on March 8, 2017.
Assoc. Prof. Gustavo Manso
After teaching just one semester at Berkeley-Haas, Assoc. Prof. Gustavo Manso was selected by MBA students to earn the top teaching accolade, the Earl F. Cheit Award. Fast-forward four years, and it’s not surprising that Manso, who teaches corporate finance, was also named to Poets and Quants’ 2016 Best 40 Under 40 Professors list. The ranking seeks nominations from students, alumni, B-school officials, and faculty. Manso, 38, decided to be a professor while an exchange student at Berkeley as part of his undergrad program in Brazil. “I got to see firsthand what a PhD program and life as a professor are about,” he told Poets and Quants. “I knew I wanted to come back to pursue an academic career.”