Yale School of Management

Center for Customer Insights

Advancing the frontiers of consumer understanding

Executives Fellows


The Executive Fellows program  helps bring the latest in marketplace thinking into the Yale School of Management curriculum, connecting students and faculty with marketing leaders to connect the dots between academic theory and industry practice.

Seth FarbmanIwata

Seth Farbman joins Yale after serving as Chief Marketing Officer at Spotify. During his nearly four-year tenure, the company grew more than ten-fold to almost 200 million customers in 65 countries--becoming the world’s largest music streaming service and one of the brands most admired by the Millennial Generation. Seth managed Spotify’s B2C and B2B marketing teams, as well as the public relations, customer support, brand, creative and design, marketing sciences and analytics teams. As Spotify’s founding CMO, Seth helped the company accomplish one of the most successful public offerings in a decade.

This past year, Seth was named the World’s Most Innovative CMO by Business Insider and, for the seventh year in a row, ranked one of Forbes’ Most Influential CMO’s. He was also recognized amongst the most creative people in the world by Creativity. While at Spotify, the internal marketing and communications team Seth built was named Advertising Age’s 2018 Agency of the Year. At the Cannes Lions International Festival for Creativity, Spotify was awarded 11 Lions and named the 2018 Brand of the Year.

Before Spotify, he was the Chief Marketing Officer for Gap, then the world’s largest speciality apparel company. Previously, Seth was the Founder and President of OgilvyEarth, one of the first sustainability-focused marketing consultancies and part of the WPP/Ogilvy agency network. Seth began his career as a journalist, and has an M.S. in journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications.

Jon IwataIwata

Jon Iwata is an Executive Fellow  at the Yale School of Management.  Jon retired from IBM as their Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communication. In his role at IBM, Jon led  IBM’s marketing, communications and citizenship organization.  His global team was responsible for the marketing of IBM’s product and services portfolio in more than 170 countries, market intelligence, communications, and stewardship of the IBM brand, recognized as one of the most valuable in the world. Jon and his team led the marketing of Watson, the breakthrough technology that is bringing cognition and artificial intelligence to healthcare, retail, financial services, education and all industries being transformed by the phenomenon of data. Jon reported to IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty.  He was a member of IBM’s Operating Team, responsible for day-to-day marketplace execution, and IBM’s Client Experience Team, which focuses on making distinctive client experience systemic across IBM.  He was also the vice chairman of the IBM International Foundation.

Jon joined IBM in 1984 at the company’s Almaden Research Center in Silicon Valley.  He was appointed vice president of Corporate Communications in 1995 and senior vice president, Communications, in 2002. He assumed his current role on July 1, 2008. Jon is a trustee of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. He is a director of the Japan Society and a director of the Association of National Advertisers.  He is past chairman of the Arthur W. Page Society, a professional group of Chief Communications Officers.  

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