May 15, 2019
Alumni Spotlight: Ed Harrington Emphasizes Empathetic Leadership
The Tepper School of Business has introduced a “Leader-in-Residence” program to support the school’s strategic goals of educating and preparing individuals to be creative problem solvers, analytical thinkers, value creators, ethical decision-makers, and transformative leaders. As part of the initiative, Ed Harrington (MBA 2000), CFO of Genentech, participated in the first Leader-in-Residence Day at the Tepper School on Oct. 8.
“Carnegie Mellon offered a transformative experience for me and my career,” Harrington said. “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to give back to the university and connect with the next generation of business leaders.”
Harrington participated in several activities throughout the day, including informal discussions and a presentation about Genentech, the US biopharmaceutical company of Roche. Similar to other corporate presentations coordinated by the Tepper School’s Masters Career Center, Harrington spoke to students about Genentech’s culture and what leaders look for in MBA candidates.
In a moderated discussion with Leanne Meyer, Executive Director of the Accelerate Leadership Center, he spoke with a small group of students about the significance of embracing empathy and diversity in your role as a leader. Another small group discussion focused on diversity and inclusion initiatives at Genentech, a key value he champions in his role as chief financial officer.
In addition, the MBA student organizations Graduate Finance Association and Healthcare Club invited Harrington to a roundtable discussion with several of their members about his CMU education and his career path.
Harrington was named CFO of Genentech in 2016. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Finance for Roche in China. He has held several key finance roles, across four countries, at Roche since joining in 2001. He credits the strength of CMU’s analytical coursework and management training in helping him build a solid career in international finance. “Management Game was such an important opportunity to practice both technical business skills and leadership skills,” he said. The long-running capstone course challenges MBA students to compete in cross-functional teams to solve real-world business problems.
“One of the most significant lessons I’ve learned in my career is that, at its most basic level, leadership is about service, to your customers, to your teams and to your mission. People want to do their very best work, and great leadership makes that happen,” Harrington said.