Indian-origin Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria announced that he will step down in June 2020, concluding 10 years of service as the School's tenth Dean.
In a message to faculty, staff, students, and alumni, Nohria said the time is right for the school to transition to new leadership.
"Ten years gave us a good run to make progress on our 'Five I' priorities," he noted, referring to the School-wide focus on innovation, intellectual ambition, internationalisation, inclusion, and integration that has been a hallmark of his tenure. "Serving as Dean has been a privilege for which I am immensely grateful. A decade seems an appropriate duration for this chapter in the School's history."
Nohria, who will take a sabbatical beginning in July 2020, joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 1988. He had earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (which honoured him as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2007) and a PhD in Management from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Nohria has authored more than a dozen books and also wrote the McKinsey Award-winning 2018 Harvard Business Review article, ‘How CEOs Manage Time’.
In his message, Nohria thanked Drew Faust, who served as Harvard's President from 2007 to 2018, for her support.
"Nitin Nohria has drawn on his expertise and his experience to be an outstanding leader for Harvard Business School," Faust stated. "Whether launching new pedagogies, investing in the faculty and their research, or building bridges from the Business School to other parts of Harvard, Nitin has positioned HBS well to face the 21st century."
Nohria also expressed gratitude to President Larry Bacow for his leadership. In a commemorative message to the HBS community, Bacow noted his appreciation for Nohria's “superlative leadership.” Nohria, he said, "has led HBS with vision and wisdom, a canny sense of organisational dynamics, a humane concern for others, and a relish for innovation."
Nohria led significant transformation in key areas during his time as Dean; HBS launched the Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (FIELD) method, including a required course in the MBA Programme, to complement the case method and to provide students opportunities for developing the "knowing" and "being" of leadership.
Harvard Business School Online (originally known as HBX), the School's digital learning platform, was founded in 2014 under Nohria's leadership as well.
Nohria has also spurred Harvard Business School’s deeper engagement with Harvard’s other graduate and professional schools. During his tenure, the DBA degree evolved into a PhD in Business Administration, offered in collaboration with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.