The Yale School of Management has appointed Jon Iwata, the former Senior Vice President and Chief Brand Officer of IBM, as Executive Fellow. Since 2015, Iwata has participated actively in SOM academic life, serving as a guest lecturer and sharing his knowledge and experience with Yale MBA students. In his new role, which integrates senior executives into the life of the school, he will immerse himself in the Yale SOM student experience.
Starting in April, Iwata will lead a new series of intimate and informal weekly lunch sessions known as “Lunch in the C-Suite,” sponsored by the Yale Center for Customer Insights. Throughout the series, a small group of students will gather for discussions about topics from shared interests in technology and branding to jumpstarting their careers. In addition to leading these lunches, Iwata will continue to serve as a guest lecturer for both MBA and executive programs, including the Yale Global Executive Leadership program. He will also be an ongoing guest and speaker in the course “Strategic Marketing Leadership: The Role of a Chief Marketing Officer,” taught by Professor Ravi Dhar.
Iwata joins Yale after a long and successful tenure at IBM Corporation, where he recently retired from his latest role as Senior Vice President and Chief Brand Officer. During his long tenure at IBM, which began in 1984, Iwata has reported to three CEOs, and has led marketing, worldwide communications and CSR. Under his leadership, IBM adopted a “digital first” strategy and developed prominent new brand platforms including e-business, Smarter Planet and Watson.
Iwata is recognized as a leader in both the marketing and corporate communications professions. He is an inductee of the Marketing Hall of Fame, the CMO Club Hall of Fame, and the Page Society Hall of Fame, which honors lifetime achievement in business communications. He was named a Brand Genius by AdWeek in 2017 and is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from The Seminar, an organization of chief communications officers. He holds a B.A. from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San Jose State University.
“The purpose of the Executive Fellow Program at the Yale School of Management is to bring the latest in marketplace thinking into our curriculum,” says Dhar. “We want students to be able to connect the dots between theory and what they read in the news. Having been the most senior executive in charge of marketing, branding, communications and citizenship at company as iconic as IBM, Jon is ideally suited to guide our students on how to address a multitude of issues facing leaders of business and society.”