History of Executives in Residence

Columbia Business School was among the first business schools to offer a robust Executives in Residence program. Robert W. Lear, former chairman and CEO of F. & M. Schaefer Corporation and former president and COO of Indian Head, volunteered to serve as a mentor at the School in 1971, and was named its first executive in residence.

During the next 22 years, Lear led the effort to develop a formal program and an established cohort of executives at the School. He also created an advisory board of executives in such functional areas as accounting and marketing to advise faculty members on the School’s teaching and research programs. 

The contributor of more than 160 columns to Chief Executive magazine, Lear and Columbia’s Executive in Residence Program were highlighted in the New York Times in 1980. “My major effort is to get more business executives more interested and concerned as to what is being taught and researched at the School, and to get the School and its students more intimately involved in real-world situations both in and out of the classroom,” Lear told reporter Leonard Sloane. “Even in school I am still in business, still a part of the corporate scene.”

The scope of the EIR Program has grown extensively. Currently 26 executives across a broad array of industries and career experiences are members of the program.

Former executives in residence at the School have included:

  • Wolfgang Bernhard '88, former CEO, Volkswagen, AG; former President and COO, Chrysler
  • Leo Hindery, Jr., former CEO, AT&T Broadband; former Chairman and CEO, YES Network
  • Stanley Klion, former Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Partner, Peat Marwick International
  • *Robert Lear, former CEO, F. & M. Schaefer Corporation
  • Joseph Rice: Co-founder and former Chairman, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
  • Dan Rosensweig: President and CEO, Chegg; former COO, Yahoo!
  • *Barry Salzberg: Former CEO, Deloitte LLP
  • Henry Schacht: Former CEO and Chairman, Lucent Technologies
  • Sabin Streeter '67: Former Managing Director, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette
  • Paul Tierney Jr.: Venture capitalist, Aperture Venture Partners
  • *Donald Waite III '66, former member of McKinsey’s three-person Office of the Managing Director and a member of the School’s Board of Overseers since 1992
  • Frank Zarb: Former Chairman and CEO, NASDAQ

*Former Director, Executives in Residence Program