Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

USC Marshall and Leventhal Announce Commencement Speakers

The USC Marshall School of Business announced that Elon Musk, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors and CEO and chief designer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), will be the commencement speaker for the USC Marshall Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 16, 2014, at the Galen Center on the USC University Park Campus. Later that same day, Steven A. Ballmer, recently retired CEO of Microsoft Corporation, will be the commencement speaker for the USC Marshall Graduate Commencement Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. The USC Leventhal School of Accounting announced that Dean Hallett, executive vice president of operations and strategy and CFO for Twentieth Century Fox, will address accounting undergraduates and graduates in a special ceremony at 2:30 p.m. in Alumni Park. These satellite ceremonies, to be held after the main University Commencement at 9 a.m., will individually recognize graduating students from Marshall and Leventhal.

“We are pleased that Elon Musk, Steven Ballmer and Dean Hallett will share their business insights and wisdom with USC Marshall and Leventhal students,” said James G. Ellis, dean of the Marshall School of Business. “As executives at the forefront of innovation, they represent the caliber of business professional we aim to connect students with throughout their educational career.”

At Tesla, Musk manages product development and design of the company’s electric vehicles, including the Roadster, Model S and the upcoming Model X. Transitioning to a sustainable energy economy, in which electric vehicles play a pivotal role, has been one of his central interests for almost two decades, stemming from his time working on ultracapacitors as a physics student.

At SpaceX, Musk oversees development of rockets and spacecraft for missions to Earth orbit and ultimately to other planets. SpaceX’s goal is to improve the reliability of space transportation while reducing costs in order to enable the colonization of Mars. SpaceX was the first private company in history to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station, and the company is currently in development on the world’s first reusable rocket—a breakthrough that will revolutionize the future of space exploration.

Prior to Tesla and SpaceX, Musk co-founded PayPal, the world’s leading Internet payment system, and served as the company’s chairman and CEO. Before PayPal, he co-founded Zip2, a provider of Internet software to the media industry.

Musk grew up in Pretoria, South Africa, during the last decades of apartheid. He is the oldest of three siblings. At age 17, he moved to Canada and, in 1992, began attending the University of Pennsylvania where he received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School. The next year he earned a second degree in physics. He became an American citizen in 2002.

Ballmer joined Microsoft in June 1980 and became Microsoft’s 30th employee, the first business manager hired by Chairman and CEO Bill Gates. In the 20 years following his hire, Ballmer headed several Microsoft Divisions, including operations, operating systems development and sales and support. In 1998, he was promoted to president, working even more closely with Gates.

Ballmer was officially named CEO in January 2000. Under his tenure as CEO, Microsoft’s annual revenue surged from $25 billion to $70 billion and profits doubled. Ballmer also built several new divisions of Microsoft, such as the data centers division and the Xbox entertainment and devices division, and oversaw the acquisition of Skype.

Ballmer grew up near Detroit where his father worked as a manager at Ford Motor Company. He earned a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and economics from Harvard University and later attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Ballmer married Connie Snyder in 1990, and together they have three sons.

At Twentieth Century Fox, Hallett is instrumental in shaping the overall strategy of the studio, providing strategic direction and operational guidance to all divisions, including theatrical production, worldwide theatrical marketing and distribution, worldwide home entertainment, television distribution, digital exhibition and digital media. He also oversees strategic planning and business development, studio and post-production operations, information technology and finance.

Prior to joining Fox, Hallett was executive vice president and CFO for The Walt Disney Studios, a position he had held since 1999. In his previous role as senior vice president of planning and control, he drove international theatrical and home entertainment integration initiatives, served as executive sponsor for shared services across all of The Walt Disney Company and helped spearhead strategic sourcing and ERP initiatives for the corporation. Hallett joined The Walt Disney Company in 1990 as a manager in the Corporate Management Audit department. He was named director of finance at Buena Vista Pictures Marketing in 1991 and promoted to vice president in 1994.

A native of Los Angeles, Hallett received his degree in business administration from the USC Marshall School of Business in 1980. He is currently chairman of Marshall Partners (the premier academic support group for USC Marshall), a member of USC’s Board of Governors and a member of USC Marshall’s Corporate Advisory Board. In addition, he is a board member for both LA’s Promise and the American Cinematheque, and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

To watch the Marshall and Leventhal commencement ceremonies live, visit the USC Marshall homepage at to be directed to the live stream.

About the USC Marshall School of Business

Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The IoT is upon us, but today’s databases, built on 30-year-old math, require multiple platforms to create a single solution. Data demands of the IoT require Big Data systems that can handle ingest, transactions and analytics concurrently adapting to varied situations as they occur, with speed at scale. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, chief strategy officer at Deep Information Sciences, will look differently at IoT data so enterprises can fully leverage their IoT potential. He’ll sha...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi's VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driv...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
DevOps has often been described in terms of CAMS: Culture, Automation, Measuring, Sharing. While we’ve seen a lot of focus on the “A” and even on the “M”, there are very few examples of why the “C" is equally important in the DevOps equation. In her session at @DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, of F5 Networks, will explore HTTP/1 and HTTP/2 along with Microservices to illustrate why a collaborative culture between Dev, Ops, and the Network is critical to ensuring success.
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. Migration to cloud shifts computing resources from your data center, which can yield significant advantages provided that the cloud vendor an offer enterprise-grade quality for your application.
Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction....
There will be 20 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet soon. What if we could control these devices with our voice, mind, or gestures? What if we could teach these devices how to talk to each other? What if these devices could learn how to interact with us (and each other) to make our lives better? What if Jarvis was real? How can I gain these super powers? In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, will show you!
As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ability. Many are unable to effectively engage and inspire, creating forward momentum in the direction of desired change. Renowned for its approach to leadership and emphasis on their people, organizations increasingly look to our military for insight into these challenges.
For almost two decades, businesses have discovered great opportunities to engage with customers and even expand revenue through digital systems, including web and mobile applications. Yet, even now, the conversation between the business and the technologists that deliver these systems is strained, in large part due to misaligned objectives. In his session at DevOps Summit, James Urquhart, Senior Vice President of Performance Analytics at SOASTA, Inc., will discuss how measuring user outcomes –...
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the...
Recently announced Azure Data Lake addresses the big data 3V challenges; volume, velocity and variety. It is one more storage feature in addition to blobs and SQL Azure database. Azure Data Lake (should have been Azure Data Ocean IMHO) is really omnipotent. Just look at the key capabilities of Azure Data Lake:
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
DevOps is here to stay because it works. Most businesses using this methodology are already realizing a wide range of real, measurable benefits as a result of implementing DevOps, including the breakdown of inter-departmental silos, faster delivery of new features and more stable operating environments. To take advantage of the cloud’s improved speed and flexibility, development and operations teams need to work together more closely and productively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Prashanth...
Achim Weiss is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of ProfitBricks. In 1995, he broke off his studies to co-found the web hosting company "Schlund+Partner." The company "Schlund+Partner" later became the 1&1 web hosting product line. From 1995 to 2008, he was the technical director for several important projects: the largest web hosting platform in the world, the second largest DSL platform, a video on-demand delivery network, the largest eMail backend in Europe, and a universal billing syste...