Change Agents: Business and Firm Leaders
5 Business Leaders
31. Bob Wright ’68
NBC and Advocacy
Bob Wright ’68 was president and CEO of the National Broadcasting Co. from 1986-2001, and chairman and CEO from 2001 until his retirement in 2007. Under Wright’s leadership, NBC went from a $400 million company on relatively hard times to a multibillion-dollar conglomerate. For many viewers, “Must See TV” in the 1990s, which included the first broadcasts of “Friends” and “Seinfeld,” was also a cultural touchstone.
Wright went on to help found advocacy groups around the issues of autism and pancreatic cancer, both of which affected his own family. His wife Suzanne died of cancer in July 2016.
32. Barbara Jeremiah ’77
Barbara Jeremiah ’77 was executive vice president of Alcoa from 2002-08, in charge of corporate development, following a long career with the company, which is the eighth-largest producer of aluminum in the world. She has been a director or board member of a number of other industry and financial groups, as well on the board of the Pittsburgh Ballet.
33. Ned Kelly ’81
Financial Industry Leader
Before his retirement in 2014, Ned Kelly ’81 held numerous key roles with Citigroup Inc., starting in 2008 — the year the financial crisis hit. He helped the financial group recover the financial group as chief financial officer from March through July 2009, and as vice chairman until April 2010. The company paid back $20 billion in government bailout money in December 2009 as part of the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. He passes forward his experiences during those years as a lecturer at UVA Law.
Among numerous other roles in the financial industry, Kelly was also a managing director at JPMorgan Chase and Co., where he was an architect of the company’s merger with Chase Manhattan. He is currently a director of CSX Corp., XL Group and MetLife.
34. Louise Sams ’85
Tuned In to Turner
Louise Sams ’85 is executive vice president and general counsel for the media conglomerate Turner, which brings the world news and entertainment (everything from CNN to the Cartoon Network). She oversees the legal matters, and a staff of 110 lawyers worldwide, of this largely autonomous unit of Time Warner. From 2003-12 she held dual executive roles, also serving as president of Turner International.
35. George Kliavkoff ’93
George Kliavkoff ’93, president of entertainment and sports at MGM Resorts International, has helped build the business of innovative media and entertainment companies. He was most recently CEO of the virtual reality entertainment company Jaunt VR. He has also served as co-president and group head of Hearst Entertainment, the largest and most profitable privately held media company in the U.S.; chief digital officer of NBC Universal Media, where he helped launch Hulu; executive vice president of business at Major League Baseball, where he was an early member of the Advanced Media Group, which delivers the sport’s digital content; and head of the business development group at Real Networks, known for its then-innovative RealPlayer.
5 General Counsel
36. R. Hewitt Pate ’87
As Chevron’s chief legal officer since 2009, R. Hewitt Pate ’87 directs worldwide legal affairs and serves on its Executive Committee. Active in more than 180 countries, Chevron is one of the world’s largest oil companies.
Pate was previously a long-time partner at Hunton & Williams in Washington, D.C., where he headed the firm’s global competition practice. He also served as assistant attorney general for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and deputy assistant attorney general.
He taught as Ewald Distinguished Professor of Law at the Law School in 1999.
37. Deborah Platt Majoras ’89
Procter & Gamble
As the chief legal officer at the multinational consumer goods giant Proctor & Gamble and co-chair of P&G’s Citizenship Board, Deborah Platt Majoras ’89 is mindful of the under-representation of women and minorities in large corporations, and is helping to do something about it.
According to P&G’s 2018 Citizenship Report, the company, which reported $66.8 billion in net sales the previous year, now has 46 percent female representation among its managers globally — with the goal of reaching 50 percent.
In addition to her work on female representation, Majoras is an advocate for diversity as executive sponsor of the GABLE (Gay, Ally, Bisexual, Lesbian and Transgender Employees) resource group. She also established both global and local pro bono programs for P&G’s legal team, which includes about 500 professionals whom she oversees.
Majoras is a former chairman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, where she focused on protecting consumers from spyware, online fraud and identify theft.
38. Tracy Preston ’91
Tracy Preston ’91 is senior vice president and general counsel for the retail conglomerate Neiman Marcus.
39. Michael Wu ’92
Michael Wu ’92 is senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of Carter’s Inc., an American designer and marketer of children’s apparel.
40. David Hyman ’93
As general counsel for Netflix, David Hyman ’93 oversees 300 attorneys at the juggernaut internet entertainment service.
5 in Investing
41. Brian Powers ’74
Hellman & Friedman
Brian Powers ’74 is senior adviser and chairman emeritus of the private equity investment firm Hellman & Friedman.
Branded a “financial alchemist” in the 1980s by The New York Times, he led H&F’s worldwide investments in media, professional services, telecom, software and technology service industries.
42. Mina Gerowin Herrmann ’76
Mina Gerowin Herrmann ’76, business executive and hedge fund manager, was managing partner at Paulson Europe in the run-up to the financial crisis. She predicted the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, which made her company one of the few winners in the financial industry during the downturn. She is currently on the board of CNH Industrial NV.
43. Bruce Karsh ’80
Oaktree Capital Management
Bruce Karsh ’80 is co-founder, co-chairman and chief investment officer of Los Angeles–based Oaktree Capital Management, a global investment management company with $120 billion of assets under management. He also serves on the executive board of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, of which he and Martha Lubin Karsh ’81 are co-owners.
44. Catherine Keating ’87
BNY Mellon Wealth Management
Catherine M. Keating ’87 recently joined Bank of New York Mellon Corp. as CEO of BNY Mellon Wealth Management and a member of the company’s executive committee. She was previously president and CEO of the asset management firm Commonfund, and the company’s first woman in that role.
She also held several positions at JPMorgan, ultimately overseeing over $700 billion in investment assets.
45. Ted Eliopoulos ’89
The $471 billion investment bank Morgan Stanley recently created a new position, vice chairman of investment management and head of strategic partnerships, specifically for Ted Eliopoulos ’89. He was previously the chief investment officer of the $360 billion California Public Employee Retirement
5 in Law Firms
46. Pete Ruegger ’74
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Pete Ruegger ’74 became a partner of the New York-headquartered Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in 1981 and served as chairman of the executive committee of the international law firm from 2004 until his retirement in 2013.
47. J. Warren Gorrell Jr. ’79
J. Warren Gorrell Jr. ’79 is CEO emeritus of Hogan Lovells and a partner in the corporate group based in the Washington, D.C., and New York offices. He served as chairman of Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) from January 2001 to May 2010 and as co-CEO of Hogan Lovells from May 2010 to June 2014. Gorrell was one of a handful of leaders of major law firms who maintained a substantial practice while managing the firm.
48. Melvin Hollowell ’84
The Miller Law Firm
Melvin Hollowell ’84 serves as managing partner of the Miller Law Firm in Detroit.
He previously won 100 percent recovery for a class who lost retirement pay in Davidson v. Henkel of America, Inc. Prior to managing the law firm, Hollowell was appointed as Detroit’s chief legal officer following the city’s bankruptcy filing, helping to turn the city around.
49. Susan Murley ’86
A co-managing partner of the firm WilmerHale, as well as a partner in the Corporate Practice Group, Susan Murley ’86 is a member of the firm’s management committee who joined the firm in 1986.
50. Beth Wilkinson ’87
Wilkinson, Walsh + Eskovitz
Beth Wilkinson ’87, who as special counsel to the deputy attorney general successfully argued for the execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, has had a distinguished career in both private practice and public service. In addition to roles with the Justice Department, she served as vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary to Fannie Mae, helping to rebuild the lender’s image after accounting scandals. Through her firm, Wilkinson, Walsh + Eskovitz, Wilkinson is currently defending the NCAA against a lawsuit that argues capping the amount of money a college athlete can earn is a form of price fixing. She was formerly a partner with Paul, Weiss.
- 100 Change Agents: A Completely Incomplete List of UVA Lawyers Who Changed the World
- 5 Who Fought for Rights
- 5 in Criminal Law, 5 in Government Service
- 5 in International Law, 5 Military Leaders
- 5 Virginia Voices
- 5 Nonprofit Leaders, 5 Educational Leaders
- 5 Who Were There To Make a Difference
- 5 Best-Selling Authors
- 5 in Sports, 5 in Entertainment
- 5 in a League of Their Own
- 5 From the Early Days, 5 Firsts
- 5 Who Changed UVA
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