Haute Investing: The Sweet 16’s Brightest Business Minds

Last night, we witnessed the essence of March Madness: tenacity, passion, and leaving your best on the court. Butler shocked Syracuse, West Virginia cruised forward, Kansas State pulled it out in double overtime and Kentucky’s Blue Chip squad proved to be too much for Cornell.

Tonight’s Sweet 16 matchups include:

No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Tennessee at 7:07 p.m. EST in St. Louis, MO

No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 10 St. Mary’s at 7:27 p.m. EST in Houston, TX

No. 5 Michigan St. vs. No. 9 Northern Iowa at 9:37 p.m. EST in St. Louis, MO

No. 1 Duke vs. No. 4 Purdue at 9:57 p.m. EST in Houston, TX

I thought it would be fitting this week to take a look at the more famous and notable business leaders whose alma maters made it to the Sweet 16.

No. 12 Cornell University

  • Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs, Co-founder and former chairman, Qualcomm (QCOM)
  • Myra Hart, Founder, Staples (SPLS)
  • Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Group (TATA)
  • James McLamore, Co-Founder, Burger King (BKC)
  • Reginald Fils-Aime, President and CEO, Nintendo (NTDOY)
  • Frank Gannett, Founder, Gannett (GCI)
  • Brent Stone, Partner, Abry Partners
  • Peter Stone, Vice president, Fortress Investment Group (FIG)

No. 11 University of Washington

  • Paul M. Anderson, CEO, Duke Energy (DUK)
  • William S. Ayer, President and CEO, Alaska Airlines (ALK)
  • Rick Devenuti, Chief information officer, Microsoft (MSFT)
  • William H. Gates Sr., Father of Bill Gates, Microsoft (MSFT)
  • Chris DeWolfe, CEO and co-founder of MySpace (NWSA)

No. 6 Xavier University

  • Charles Geschke, President and co-founder, Adobe Systems (ADBE)

No. 5 Butler University

  • Thad Matta, Ohio State men’s basketball head coach (also in Sweet 16)
  • Scott Drew, Baylor University men’s basketball head coach (also in Sweet 16)

No. 2 Kansas State University

  • John Allen, SVP of The Hershey Company and president of Hershey International (HSY)
  • John Hofmeister, President and CEO, Shell Oil (RDS-A)
  • Warren Staley, President and CEO, Cargill, Inc.
  • William A. Porter, Founder of E*Trade (ETFC)

No. 1 West Virginia University

  • John Chambers, President and CEO, Cisco Systems (CSCO)
  • Eric Babe, CEO, Bayer Corp.

No. 1 University of Kentucky

  • Don Rosa, Comic Book artist for Donald Duck, Disney (DIS)
  • Warren Rosenthal, CEO of Jerrico, original parent company of Denny’s (DENN)
  • Chris Sullivan, Founder of Outback Steakhouse

No. 1 Syracuse University

  • Joseph Biden, VP of the United States
  • Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, Major Investor, Citigroup (C)
  • Mark Begor, President and CEO, GE Card Services (GE)
  • William J. Brodsky, Chairman and CEO of Chicago Board of Options Exchange
  • Nick Donofrio, SVP, IBM (IBM)
  • Kenneth Goodman, President and COO, Forest Labs (FRX)
  • Louis Giuliano, Chairman, president & CEO, ITT Industries (ITT)
  • JoAnn H. Heisen, Chief information officer, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
  • Joanne Hill, Managing director, Goldman Sachs (GS)
  • Ronald P. O’Hanley, Vice chairman, Bank of New York Mellon (BK)
  • Bob Seltzer, President and CEO, Ogilvy PR Worldwide
  • Larry Kramer, Founder and CEO, Marketwatch.com
  • Todd Harrison, Founder and CEO, Minyanville.com

No. 10 St. Mary’s University

  • William E. Greehey, Chairman, Valero Energy (VLO)

No. 9 Northern Iowa University

  • Kurt Warner, Two-time NFL MVP and MVP of Super Bowl XXXIV

No. 6 University of Tennessee

  • James Clayton, President and CEO, Clayton Homes (BRKA) and (BRKB)
  • Charlie Ergen, CEO, Echostar (SATS)
  • Min Kao, CEO and Founder, Garmin (GRMN)

No. 5 Michigan State University

  • Michael R. Cannon, President of Global Operations, Dell (DELL)
  • James Cornelius, CEO, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY)
  • Kevin Farr, CFO, Mattel (MAT)
  • Drayton McLane, Jr., Director of Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT)
  • Carl English, COO, American Electric Power (AEP)
  • Albert B. Ratner, Co-Chairman, Forest City Enterprises (FCEA)
  • Jim Delligatti, Creator of the Big Mac Sandwich, McDonald’s (MCD)
  • Joanne Maguire, VP of Special Programs, Lockheed Martin (LMT)
  • M. Peter McPherson, Chairman, Dow Jones

No. 4 Purdue University

  • Michael Birck, Chairman and Founder of Tellabs (TLAB)
  • Michael L. Eskew, Chairman and CEO, UPS (UPS)
  • Brian Lamb, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of C-SPAN
  • Gregory Wasson, President and COO, Walgreens (WAG)

No. 3 Baylor University

  • Mark Hurd, CEO, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)
  • Bob R. Simpson, Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of XTO Energy (XTO)

No. 2 Ohio State University

  • Christopher M. Connor, Chairman and CEO, Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW)
  • Ray Groves, Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young
  • Lionel L. Nowell, SVP and Treasurer, PepsiCo (PEP)
  • Mark Schmitz, EVP and CFO of Goodyear (GT)
  • Deven Sharma, President, Standard & Poor’s (MHP)
  • Kenneth P. Wilcox, Chairman and founder, Limited Brands (LTD)

No. 1 Duke University

  • Norm Johnston, Global Digital Director, Mindshare Worldwide (WPPGY)
  • John Allison IV, Chairman, BB&T (BBT)
  • Aubrey McClendon, Chairman, Chesapeake Energy (CHK)
  • Rex Adams, ExxonMobil (XOM)
  • Bill Hawkins, Medtronic (MDT)
  • John J. Mack, Morgan Stanly (MS)
  • David R. Goode, Norfolk Southern (NSC)
  • Edmund T. Pratt, Jr., Pfizer (PFE)
  • John Chambers, Chairman, Cisco Systems (CSCO)
  • Sean McManus, President of CBS Sports and CBS News (CBS)
  • Damien Hoffman, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Wall St. Cheat Sheet

This is just a sampling of the cream of the crop captains of industry. If I missed anyone you think deserves notoriety, feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

To read more of Derek’s investing insights, visit Wall St. Cheat Sheet