Harvard Business School (HBS) recently honored five of its alumni with the School’s highest recognition, the Alumni Achievement Award. These awards are given to “leaders who have truly made a difference in the world,” according to HBS.
This year’s recipients:
Rahul Bajaj (M.B.A. 1964), chairman, Bajaj Auto Ltd. Bajaj has been the driving force at Bajaj Auto Ltd. for four decades. Under his direction, it became one of India’s foremost companies and the fourth-largest maker of motorized scooters, three-wheeled vehicles, and motorcycles in the world. An influential voice in Indian industry, Bajaj has been a leader in introducing modern methods of production to his assembly lines and good governance to his country’s corporations.
Nancy M. Barry (M.B.A. 1975), president, Women’s World Banking. After 15 successful years as a member of nearly every major task force at the World Bank, Barry became president of Women’s World Banking in 1990. The organization – now the global leader in microfinance – has grown from a staff of four to 50, providing more than 18 million low-income women around the globe with the means for economic and social improvement.
Louis V. Gerstner Jr. (M.B.A. 1965), chairman, The Carlyle Group; former chairman and chief executive officer, International Business Machines Corp. When Gerstner took on the job of chairman and CEO of IBM in 1993, the giant corporation had been likened to a slow-moving elephant struggling to compete in the rapidly changing world of high-tech. According to conventional wisdom, IBM would have to be broken up to survive. Undaunted, Gerstner embarked on a successful turnaround mission that saw the company’s net income increase some $15 billion from 1993 to 2002.
Judith R. Haberkorn (111th Advanced Management Program, 1992), former president, consumer sales and services, Verizon Communications Inc. Haberkorn made her mark on the competitive world of telecommunications when the industry was going through a period of unprecedented change. Experiencing both the breakup of the Bell System and the introduction of Verizon’s long-distance service, she successfully managed 30,000 employees through her commitment to visible leadership and constant communication.
Joseph J. O’Donnell (M.B.A. 1971), founder, chairman, and chief executive officer, Boston Culinary Group Inc. After several years as an HBS administrator, O’Donnell joined a small concessions company in 1976. Since then, he has grown Boston Culinary Group into a major enterprise employing 12,000 people and serving food and drink at stadiums, arenas, and convention centers in 40 states. O’Donnell plays an important role in philanthropic and educational institutions in the Greater Boston area – part of his abiding philosophy of “giving back.”