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The 20 Most Notable Wharton Alumni in Business


Among the universities in the United States, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is famous for having some of the most successful alumni from all over the globe. Warren Buffet went to the school but did not even graduate, yet he is the person whose portfolio most investors look at when making their investment decisions. We can not fail to mention President Donald Trump who tops the list of notable Wharton alumni entrepreneurs. Here are others you may not know.

1. Robert B. Goergen

Robert is a believer in "Kaizen" which is a Japanese word that stands for "continuous improvement." It is this concept that has enabled him to turn Blyth Inc., where he is the CEO, from making $2.8 million in sales to turning over $1.6 billion. He has worked in various companies including Coca-Cola where he updated their marketing campaign. He began the candle business by buying Valley Candle Co. through the help of family, friends and a bank loan. Robert added his investment by purchasing Candle Corp for $3.3 million and in 1978, he quit his job as managing partner at Sprouts to concentrate on his candle business.

2. John L. Flannery

John has been at at General Electrical since 1987 and climbed his way up through various leadership positions and landed the role of company officer in 2005. John is credited for turning around General Electric's healthcare by launching Sustainable Healthcare Solutions and bringing disruptive technologies to emerging markets through healthcare providers. In 2009, his responsibility increased through an appointment to president and CEO of GE India, and four years later, he became the Head of Business Development for the entire company.

3. Chip W. Goodyear

When a man clearly states that he does not mind being rewarded with $2 million per year if he meets the targets, then you have to be sure that he will work hard to achieve those set targets. Chip Goodyear joined BHP as its Chief Financial Officer in 1999 and became its CEO after Gilbertson resigned. When Chip took over the reins of the company, BHP was on a downward trend and Chip's vast experience in corporate structuring, merger and acquisition and finance put him at an advantage of turning around the business.

4. Charles Butt

Charles Butt is billionaire whose net worth is $5.43 billion, and this is all thanks to the grocery business named HEB Grocery in which he is the CEO and chairman. Charles has an 85% stake on the grocery store which is based in San Antonio but operates in the United States and Mexico, employing over 100,000 people. With such great wealth, Charles finds it in his heart to give back to the society, and the company donated $1 million to Witte Museum in San Antonio. HEB Grocery is a family business started by Charles' grandmother in 1905

5. John Browett

They say sunsets are also a symbol that the ending of something can also be beautiful and the saying applies to John who was let go by Apple; an incidence which John says is the best thing that ever happened to him. We may find it hard to believe when anyone interested in working for a software company would have Apple first on its list, but according to John, although it is a fantastic company to work in, he was not the ideal fit. John was criticized for dampening the morale of Apple staff, but his departure from Apple led him to become the CEO of Monsoon Accessorize, a fashion retailer and for John, the sky is the limit.

6. Rosalind Brewer

Rosalind is the COO and Group president of Starbucks Corp, and seeing how far she has come, she wishes to let young girls know that they can be anything they set their mind to; be it race car drivers or astronauts. Rosalind made history for the Walmart stores when she became the CEO and president of Sam's club, which is the warehouse division of Walmart Inc. The position led her to be not just the first woman to lead a Walmart division but also the first African-American. However, she is not content in sitting in her corner office; Rosalind plans to make a revolutionary change for the store by doubling the brand's food business over the next two years.

7. Sashi Reddi

Some people have King Midas touch, and everything they touch turns to gold. We can conclude that Sashi is among this group of people because being a serial entrepreneur, all the companies he establishes are profitable. Sashi is the mind behind companies like EZPower Systems, iCoop and FXLabs. His latest creation was AppLabs which became a leader in software testing thus attracting Computer Sciences Corporation into acquiring it. His great mind has led him to serve on the advisory board of Wharton's Entrepreneurial Programs.

8. George Bradt

George is a man of many talents and extensive experience. Not only is he an author, journalist and consultant, he also is a business leader. His work experience has been obtained by working for large multinationals such as Coca-Cola, Proctor and Gamble and Unilever, in which George started in sales and rose the ranks to the marketing department and eventually landing in general management positions. He currently is the principal of CEO Connection and serves PrimeGenesis as the managing director.

9. Ayman Asfari

Ayman has had his eyes in the civil construction industry and worked as an engineer in a construction company based in Oman, where he later became the managing director. He went back to engineering by founding his own company, Petrofac International in 1991 which is now known as Petrofac. Ayman is the CEO of Petrofac and has an 18.2% stake in the company which gets him lucrative returns; in 2014 he got $40 million as his dividends. It is, therefore, no surprise that the man is a billionaire with an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion.

10. Alan B. Miller

The healthcare industry requires a relentless man, and that is what Alan Miller is. Before founding United Health Services in 1979, Alan was the CEO and Chairman of American Medicorp Inc. and now thanks to him, investors can always count on UHS to give them impressive returns. Between 1990 and 2000, Fortune Magazine and the Wall Street Journal recognized UHS as having the highest returns for its shareholders while J.P. Morgan noted it to be among the stocks that generated the highest lifetime returns leading it to be added to the S&P 500 Index. UHS operates as a multi-national with facilities in America, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom.

11. Alex Gorsky

To appreciate the view at the top, one must first know what it is like to be at the bottom, and that is the case with Alex. He began working at Johnson & Johnson in the sales department but worked his way up to be its CEO in 2012. As Alex shared with Fortune, he is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, and he confesses that the military training has had a huge impact on his success. Since in the academy he met with people from different backgrounds, it has enabled him to appreciate the importance of listening and being accessible as a leader.

12. Steve Ives

Steve is a man dedicated to his cause as evidenced by him cycling 7000 miles across ten countries, from San Francisco to Istanbul, to raise $10,000 for UNICEF. Besides being a family man and a man who enjoys tennis, cycling and skiing, Steve is an innovator who is behind the establishment of Trigenix, a mobile-based software based in Cambridge that was acquired by Qualcomm Inc. in 2004. His software developing skills led him to be recognized as the Best Wireless Application Developer through the 2003 3GSM award. Steve then founded Taptu Ltd, another Cambridge-based mobile search company that is developing a mobile search service.

13. Aditya Mittal

Aditya, an Indian citizen, is a board member of the Wharton School from which he graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and specialized in strategic management and corporate finance. He was the President and CFO of Mittal Steel company, and when the company merged with Arcelor to form ArcelorMittal, he became the Head of Mergers and Acquisitions. Aditya is behind the merger of the two companies which led to the creation of the first steel company in the world to produce 100 million-plus tons. He currently is the Group CFO and CEO of Arcelor Mittal in the European region.

14. Sundar Pichai

Sundar might have picked his interest in engineering from his father who was an electrical engineer at GEC, a British conglomerate. Sundar joined Google in 2004 as the product manager, and he is the creative mind behind some of Google products including Google OS and Google Chrome. His innovative efforts earned him recognition, and he was tasked with managing other Google products such as Gmail and Google Docs. Sundar's star kept on shining, and when the company underwent major restructuring in 2015, Sundar was promoted to CEO.

15. Paul Wachter

When your client list includes celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, LeBron James, and Tom Werner, you have made it in life. That said, we can conclude that Paul has made it since those are his clients whom he offers investment advice. It is his sound input that led to New England Sports Venture acquiring Boston Red Sox in 2002, as well as the purchase of Beats by Apple. All this he does through the Main Street Advisors, a firm which he established in 1997 to offer financial and asset management advisory services.

16. Robert Wolf

Robert, the founder and CEO of 32 Advisors, graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the Wharton School. He serves on the Athletic Board of Overseers at the University of Pennsylvania as well as on the Undergraduate Executive Board at Wharton School. His most important position has to be serving as a member of the President's Economic Advisory Board from 2009 to 2011. Before founding 32 Advisors, Robert was the president of UBS Investment Bank and chairman of UBS America with his company. He currently offers consulting and advisory services to a wide range of clients including private and public institutions, hedge funds, governments and private equity firms.

17. Daniel Och

Daniel was number 617 on Forbes Billionaires list of 2019 and in 2016 was marked 20th among the highest-earning hedge fund managers. Although Daniel founded Och-Ziff Capital Management and was the chief executive officer, he stepped down in 2018 most probably due to the corruption scandal in Africa that siphoned millions of dollars from the firm in 2016 and 2017. Robert Shafir took over as the CEO, and it seems like Daniel wants to get rid of any association with the firm since he plans to relinquish his chairmanship too.

18. Larry Robbins

Larry has focused his operation in accounting and finance as proven by his degree in economics in which the two were among his concentrations. Further, he became a certified accountant in 1991 in Illinois. With his knowledge, Larry landed a job at Omega Advisors as an analyst and partner where he stayed for six years, before which he was at Gleacher & Company for three years. Armed with the necessary experience and education, Larry founded his own company, Glenview Capital Management, where he holds two positions; the CEO and Portfolio Manager. Although the firm has been in operation for 13 years, looks like Larry prefers to keep it small seeing that the employee number stands at 75.

19. Alexander Lloyd

Alexander is a prudent investor who started investing early in companies that have yielded profitable returns. For instance, he was an early investor in Zappos, an online shoe company which acquired in 2009 for $1.2 billion. He currently is a venture capitalist who founded Accelerator Ventures in which he is the managing partner. Alex gained his experience from several companies including Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and Apple Computer.

20. Ashish Goyal

Ashish knows what it is like to be denied an opportunity due to disability. Although his resume was impressive enough to land him an interview, the process never went further than that after interviewers found out that he was blind. Finally, J. P. Morgan took a chance on him and opened him to the world of trading and Ashish became the first visually impaired Wall Street trader.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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