Notable Alumni

Since the program started in 1989, hundreds of LGO alumni have attained senior leadership positions in global companies, founded their own firms, or directed complex strategic initiatives. Below is a small selection of some of the operations careers possible after completing MIT LGO. You’ll find alumni who are at the top of their industries and who have made a difference in their organizations.

Dannielle Appelhans (LGO ’11)

Novartis Gene Therapies

Position Senior Vice President, Technical Operations, and Chief Technology Officer

While at LGO MBA and SM in Mechanical Engineering

Previous Studies University of Michigan, Mechanical Engineering

Dannielle came to LGO from Eli Lilly and Co. and afterwards joined McKinsey & Co.,in its operations practice. Since 2014, she has held leadership positions at Novartis and its subsidiaries. Her responsibilities have included developing the strategic direction and driving product transformation.

I value what the program taught me. I received broad exposure and built relationships for a lifetime. Through McKinsey, I was able to further leverage the skills and experiences from MIT and codify classroom concepts. I think my mentality is characteristic of many LGOs. At the core we are passionate about improving operations and driving organizations to be the best in their field.

Michael Blatz (LGO ’93)

VIP Cinema Seating

Position CEO

While at LGO MBA & SM Mechanical Engineering

Previous Studies US Military Academy, Mechanical Engineering

Michael has had a career spanning the semiconductor, auto, agriculture and HVAC industries. After serving as an officer in the U.S. Army and graduating from MIT LGO, Michael held roles at Intel and Dell Computer before joining Carrier, where he rose to VP and General Manager of a business unit. Michael then joined the HVAC business at Lennox, where he became President and COO of the company’s service and maintenance business. He then helped turn around the Bull Moose company into a diversified industrial manufacturer, before recently joining VIP Cinema Seating as its CEO.

Laura Bogusch (LGO ’03)

Boeing

Position Vice President, Materials & Manufacturing Technology

While at LGO MBA and SM Aeronautics/Astronautics

Previous Studies University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering

Since rejoining Boeing, Laura has held key manufacturing roles in the 737 and 787 programs. She served as Fleet Chief for the 747 program worldwide and as the General Manager of Boeing Salt Lake, a composite manufacturing hub for the company. Currently she is Vice President, Materials & Manufacturing Technology, based in Charleston, SC.

LGO has opened up doors I never thought I would have the chance to walk through. Now I have a dream job leading a manufacturing site.

VIDEO: Boeing Flight Path Oral History ->

Boeing’s LGO Partnership Page ->

Jim Chow (LGO ‘04)

Google

Position Head, Global System Integrator Partnerships, Americas

While at LGO MBA and SM Civil and Environmental Engineering

Previous Studies MIT, Civil Engineering and Management

Jim Chow has 20 years of technical expertise that he brings to Google, where he works to “make cloud computing a reality for all.” Before his current position, Jim led the global resellers network for Google Apps. In 2012 he was listed as one of NAAMBA’s Top 40 Global Emerging Leaders Under 40. While at LGO, Jim won the Charles Harrison Smith III Memorial Award, an honor given to the classmate who contributes the most to the LGO community over the two years.

Jim’s Podcast on his work with Google Apps ->

Rick Dauch (LGO ’92)

Delphi Technologies

Position CEO

While at LGO MBA and SM Materials Science and Engineering

Previous Studies United States Military Academy at West Point, Engineering

With over 25 years of experience in military and corporate organizations, Rick has a strong set of leadership skills across many dimensions. He is currently CEO of Delphi Technologies, a global leader in vehicle propulsion systems. Previously Rick was CEO and President of Accuride Corporation, one of the most diverse manufacturers and suppliers of commercial car parts in North America. Prior to his position at Accuride, Rick was president and CEO of Acument Global Technologies and spent 13 years at American Axle and Manufacturing, Inc. in various roles. During his military career he was a company commander and qualified as an Airborne-Ranger and expert infantryman.

My experience in the military prepared me to be a leader, and the LGO program gave me a broad perspective on the types of leadership challenges we would face as business leaders. Our exposure to senior industry leaders and cutting-edge professors gave us the critical skills required to be effective and successful business leaders in a rapidly changing, competitive world.

Mick Farrell (LGO ’98)

ResMed

Position CEO

While at LGO MBA and SM in Chemical Engineering

Previous Studies University of New South Wales, Engineering

Mick Farrell is CEO of ResMed, a global digital health and connected medical device company. Before leading the company, Mick spent 13 years in various roles at ResMed leading commercial operations for the Americas, sleep apnea business units, and market development. Previously, Mick worked in management consulting and in chemicals and steel manufacturing.

Big data innovation: CNBC interview ->

Doug Field (LGO ’92)

Apple

Position Vice President of Special Projects

While at LGO MBA and SM Mechanical Engineering

Previous Studies Purdue University, Mechanical Engineering

If you’ve ever driven a Ford, used a Mac computer, or taken a Segway tour in a new city, then you’ve been impacted by Doug Field’s work. He was the #1 employee at Segway and built the team and technology for the company. After Segway he worked for Apple, first as VP of product design and then as VP of Mac hardware. During this time he oversaw nearly 2,000 employees. He led many technology developments at Apple, including new versions of the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac. At Tesla he developed and delivered a lower-cost Tesla model to market. Recently Doug returned to lead special projects at Apple.

Heath Holtz (LGO ’05)

Target

Position SVP of Field Operations

While at LGO MBA & SM Engineering Systems

Previous Studies U.S. Air Force Academy & Georgia Institute of Technology, Operations Research

After serving in the U.S. armed forces, Heath transitioned to a management role in operations after completing the LGO program. Heath joined Nissan directly after graduating from MIT, and has grown in leadership level continuously since then. After leading Nissan Europe’s supply chain, he became the VP for Manufacturing in charge of Nissan’s Smyrna, Tennessee plant, the largest automotive factory in North America. He rose to lead the entire corporation’s manufacturing and supply chain operations as Senior Vice President. In 2020 Heath was appointed to lead field operations at Target.

My first real global exposure was at LGO: the faculty, the students, the companies we got to meet, and the people we got to talk to. The balance of engineering and business is extremely valued in global manufacturing companies.

Heath Holtz’s executive biography ->

Webinar: LGO Global Careers ->

Leigh Hunnicutt (LGO ’08)

AMGEN

Position Executive Director, Global Operations — Therapeutic Area Head

While at LGO MBA and SM in Biological Engineering

Previous Studies University of Arizona, Molecular & Cellular Biology

Leigh joined Amgen directly from LGO as a strategic planning and operations manager. She has risen quickly through the company, holding positions like manufacturing manager and senior manager of plant quality before becoming the youngest director Amgen has ever had. She now oversees Amgen’s entire operations and global manufacturing network.

My diverse experiences and close relationships with incredible classmates have given me great cross-industry knowledge, leadership skills, and a global perspective.

 

Leigh recognized as a “rising star” in her industry ->

Amgen’s LGO partnership page ->

Denise Johnson (LGO ’97)

Caterpillar

Position Group President, Resource Industries

While at LGO MBA & SM Mechanical Engineering

Previous Studies Michigan State University, Mechanical Engineering

Denise launched a successful operations career after her mechanical engineering and MBA degrees with LGO. She led multiple high-stakes projects at General Motors and then moved to Caterpillar. She developed a variety of skills at LGO that helps her strategically manage global operations and manufacturing organization.

Most of the challenges that I face in my career involve figuring out the optimal way—the optimal how—to get a job done successfully. LGO provided me with not only the analytical and problem-solving skill set that I needed to be truly effective but also the leadership and organization savvy that is so important for success in today’s business world.

Denise becomes the first woman in Cat’s top ranks ->

Caterpillar’s LGO partnership page ->

David Linders (LGO ’13)

Podimetrics

Position CTO/Co-founder

While at LGO MBA and SM in Mechanical Engineering

Previous Studies University of Washington, Bioengineering

David worked in medical devices before MIT LGO. His team won the MIT 100K Business Plan Competition’s health science award. He and LGO classmate Brian Petersen subsequently launched Podimetrics. The company develops sensor devices to keep diabetic feet healthy.

In product development and operations, especially within a startup, every aspect of the business is interconnected and decisions in one area affect many others. The LGO program taught me to be a principled decision-maker in environments with uncertainty and many stakeholders.

Study shows Podimetrics’ Smart Mat improves foot ulcer detection ->

Podimetrics website ->

Wendy-Kay Logan (LGO ‘11)

Google

Position Senior Principal of Product Strategy and Business Operations

While at LGO MBA and SM Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Previous Studies Rice University, Computer Science

Wendy-Kay Logan is currently Senior Principal of Product Strategy and Business Operations at Google, leading teams across Alphabet specializing in user growth, product strategy, and monetization. She’s also led industry-wide initiatives like US strategy and rollout for Apple / Google Exposure Notifications to stop the spread of Covid-19. Before joining Google, Wendy-Kay was a senior consultant at McKinsey & Company and held product management and engineering roles at National Instruments and Motorola. In 2020, she was recognized among Silicon Valley’s Top 40 under 40.

LGO provided me with an expanded leadership and technical toolkit to apply to real-world problems. The program encourages leaders to focus on creating innovative yet pragmatic solutions, while incorporating a range of perspectives. Moreover, I treasure the relationships I formed during the program, which was made possible by the unique LGO  “family within a family.”

Viju Menon (LGO ’94)

Stryker

Position Group President, Global Quality and Operations

While at LGO MBA & SM Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Previous Studies University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Computer Science and Engineering

Viju had a 19-year Intel career, distinguished by key leadership roles such as Factory Manager and Head of Worldwide Supply Planning Operations. After leaving Intel, Viju joined Verizon Wireless as Vice President, Supply Chain, eventually rising to become Chief Supply Chain Officer for all of Verizon. In 2018 Viju was named Group President for Global Quality and Operations at Stryker.

LGO proved to be an amazing inflection point in shaping my world view, developing my leadership skills, and influencing my subsequent career trajectory. Even after 20 years, I still draw from my LGO toolkit when it comes to thinking big and leading transformational change. I am a big LGO believer.

Grace Overlander (LGO ’08)

Pinnacle Engines

Position CEO

While at LGO MBA and SM Mechanical Engineering

Previous Studies University of Michigan, Mechanical Engineering

Grace has managed leading companies in automotive energy technology. General Motors hired her after her MIT LGO graduation. Grace started as an assembly line manager for the Chevy Malibu, then transitioned to help launch the Chevy Volt battery manufacturing plant. Inspired by fast-paced product development in the automotive battery space, Grace joined Tesla as senior program manager for new product introduction. At Tesla she was responsible for the first builds of Tesla Energy and all battery and high-voltage products, and led engineering support of production for the company’s Models S and X vehicles. Grace was recognized as a leading woman in the renewable energy industry by the MIT Energy Initiative and U.S. Department of Energy in 2015. In 2019 Grace joined ultra-efficient engine startup Pinnacle Engines as CEO.

The LGO leadership curriculum and industry speaker series reinforced the importance of giving back to society, leading with my own leadership style, and leaving a legacy. These priorities have stayed with me through each role I’ve had.

Women in Clean Energy Symposium award as Business Leader ->

Grace’s profile by the MIT Alumni Association ->

Meghan Scanlon (LGO ‘00)

Boston Scientific

Position Senior Vice President and President, Urology and Pelvic Health

While at LGO MBA and SM Mechanical Engineering

Previous Studies Tufts University, Mechanical Engineering

Meghan has held leadership positions at Johnson & Johnson and now Boston Scientific since graduating from LGO. When she decided to become a mother, Johnson & Johnson created a position specifically for her. She was able to rotate through finance and operations before settling into a role in marketing. She now uses her technical fortitude with sound product rationalization to make decisions and get buy-in from others.

LGO is one of the most unique experiences for a woman from a technical background because it prepares you to make a very successful transition into a business leadership role. Plus, LGOs are the most well-rounded individuals in the professional world.

Boston Scientific’s LGO partnership page ->

Tanja Vainio (LGO ’04)

ABB

Position Managing Director, Business Line Automotive Tier 1, Robotics and Automation Business, ABB

While at LGO MBA and SM in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Previous Studies Mechanical Engineering, RWTH Aachen and Tampere University of Technology

After LGO, Tanja continued to build her 15-year career at ABB, holding global leadership roles in her operations career such as Vice President of Supply Chain Management for the Power Electronics business and Vice President/General Manager for Service and After-Sales in Power Electronics. After serving for nine years as ABB Country Manager for various areas of eastern Europe, Tanja moved in 2020 to take on a Managing Director role leading one of ABB’s enterprise-level businesses.

LGO’s integrated curriculum emphasizes leadership, business, and technical acumen. It was an incredible learning experience in the classroom, during the various company visits, and from the other students in the class. The LGO alumni community has also been a great asset for me—one that I’m using regularly even today.

Aimee Wiedmeyer (LGO ‘06)

Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Position Director of Operations

While at LGO MBA and SM Civil and Environmental Engineering

Previous Studies Northwestern University, Environmental Engineering

Aimee Wiedmeyer isn’t just a director at Harley-Davidson: she’s also a customer. During her career, she has held positions like construction project manager, area manager, and manager of international projects. She leads continuous improvement projects for the company and does strategic business planning across several functions. Since joining the company she says she’s owned four motorcycles and enjoys supporting the company as a consumer just as much as an employee.

Jeff Wilke (LGO ’93)

Amazon

Position CEO Worldwide Consumer

While at LGO MBA and SM Chemical Engineering

Previous Studies Princeton University, Chemical Engineering

After LGO, Jeff began his operations career in the chemical and polymer industries. Since 1999, he has led unprecedented growth at Amazon. Jeff serves on LGO’s Governing Board and is deeply involved in the program. He’s spoken to LGO classes regularly during Amazon case discussions, leadership seminars, and site visits.

When I assumed leadership of Amazon.com’s operations in 1999, we needed a playbook—and fast. Fortunately, I had the LGO playbook, and it worked.

LGO impact at Amazon ->

Amazon’s LGO partnership page ->