Robert Ford’s listing in the Class of 2015 student directory for the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program identified him as vice president, Abbott Diabetes Care. Within two months, he had erased the “vice” to become president of the division. His latest promotion adds a couple of words to his title and a lot more responsibility: executive vice president, Medical Device Business Unit at Abbott, a global diversified health care company.
The promotion adds two new lines of business—Vascular and Ophthalmology—and two new business models to his portfolio, as well as bringing the amount of annual revenue he oversees to more than $5 billion. “I’m drinking from a fire hose right now,” he says, “but it is exhilarating.”
It’s also an occasion to apply some of the new knowledge he has gained at Berkeley-Haas. “The quant courses have certainly sharpened my analytical skills. New Venture Financing taught us how VCs think and showed the kinds of battle scars they can incur. Knowing both the theory and how it plays out in the real world will be very useful."
“Similarly, the Silicon Valley Immersion Week gave us all first-hand insights into the concerns and mindsets of founders,” he continues. “This will help me do a better job when I’m sitting across the table in acquisition discussions.”
His new business cards aside, new insights, new ways of looking at and solving problems, and most of all a cohort of classmates who are “always awesome” are what Robert Ford will carry forward from his Executive MBA experience.
Interested in the work, aspirations, and experiences of our executive MBA students? We invite you to read some student profiles.