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Meet the 13 Michigan Ross Grads Named to C-Suite or Board Positions So Far This Year


It’s no surprise that Michigan Ross grads are asked to lead some of the world’s largest companies — nothing prepares leaders like real experiences, and no other school offers students better hands-on learning opportunities than Michigan Ross.

Our commitment to an action-based learning curriculum is specifically designed to give students the hands-on opportunities they need to have the confidence, frameworks, and intellectual dexterity to succeed.

There are more U-M grads serving as CEO of Fortune 100 companies than graduates of any other university, and it’s a trend that shows no sign of slowing down.

Just since the beginning of 2019, at least 13 Ross alumni have taken new C-Suite or board-level roles in companies across the world ranging from Johnson & Johnson and Lockheed Martin to Related Companies and MGM Resorts.

Here they are:

Vanessa Broadhurst, MBA ‘94

Vanessa was named Company Group Chairman for the Global Commercial Strategy Organization with Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson company. Prior to this role, she was President, Cardiovascular & Metabolism (CMV) at Janssen, leading one of the company’s largest businesses with a team of 3,000 and responsibility for $5.5+ billion in revenues.

Read more about Vanessa

Simon Chen, BBA ‘02

Simon was named Chief Operating Officer of Madison Park Financial Corporation, one of the most active Bay Area developers of innovative, urban mixed-use properties.

Read more about Simon

Ann Cunningham, MBA ‘96

Ann was appointed to the board of VistaGen Therapeutics. “We are delighted to welcome Ann to our Board of Directors,” stated Shawn Singh, Chief Executive Officer of VistaGen. “With decades of commercial and leadership experience in the pharmaceutical industry, experience that is especially relevant in the depression and other CNS markets we are pursuing, Ann’s expertise expands our Board’s strengths. We look forward to her valuable insights and strategic guidance as we continue to advance our pipeline programs.”

Read more about Ann

Fabio Fossen, MBA ‘11

Fabio was named President of Bridgestone Americas, leading the Latin American South division. Prior to this role, Fabio served as President of Bridgestone Brazil, one of the oldest and longest running tire manufacturers in South America.

Paul (Tony) Marsh, MBA ‘05

Tony was named Chief Capital Markets officer at TA Associates in Boston. In the new role, Tony leads all new acquisition financings and capital markets activities for TA portfolio companies globally, as well as manages the firm’s relationships with corporate finance providers and advisors.

Read more about Tony

Ken Possenriede, MBA ‘84

Ken was named Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin, the global security and aerospace company employing nearly 100,000 people worldwide.

Sid Sahni, MBA ‘05

Sid joined Prime Therapeutics LLC as Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer, responsible for overall corporate strategic planning and execution. "Sid is an impressive leader with a long track record of driving strong results for the companies he's worked for," said Jim DuCharme, Prime's president and chief executive officer. "Sid will lend important focus to growing our business during an exciting time in today's everchanging marketplace."

Read more about Sid

Vivek Sankaran, MBA ‘93

Vivek was named CEO of Frito-Lay North America, starting in March after the retirement of current PepsiCo CEO Albert Carey. Prior to the CEO role, Vivek was serving as the President and Chief Operating Officer of the company, responsible for PepsiCo’s $15 billion snack and convenient foods business.

Read more about Vivek

Brian Stearns, MBA ‘07

Brian joined Workstorm, a provider of enterprise-level workplace collaboration technology, as their Chief Commercial Officer focused on driving efficiency for corporate legal departments and law firms nationwide.

Misbah Tahir, MBA ‘04

Misbah was named Chief Financial Officer at IGM Biosciences, a firm developing therapeutic antibodies for treatment of human diseases. "We are very pleased that Misbah has decided to join the IGM team," said Fred Schwarzer, Chief Executive Officer of IGM Biosciences. "His experience in building finance and accounting organizations, managing financial and strategic planning processes and interfacing with the biotechnology capital markets will be critical to IGM as we move a potentially transformative new therapeutic approach toward clinical proof of concept studies and eventual market launch."

Read more about Misbah

Katie Vanderjagt, MBA ‘16

Katie was named Chief Human Resource Officer at La-Z-Boy Inc. In her new role, Katie will be responsible for human resources strategic planning, leadership development, employee engagement, inclusion and diversity, organizational development and culture, change management, compensation and benefits, and leadership and oversight for talent management.

Read more about Katie

Steve Zanella, MBA ‘14

Steve was named President and Chief Operating Officer of CityCenter with MGM Resorts, overseeing day-to-day operations at ARIA and Vdara in Las Vegas. Steve has been with MGM Resorts for more than 25 years. Most recently, he was President of Core Properties in Las Vegas, overseeing operations at Park MGM, New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Luxor Hotel and Casino, Excalibur Hotel & Casino and Circus Circus Las Vegas.

Read more about Steve

David Zussman, BBA ‘08

David became the new Chief Financial Officer of Related Companies. In the new role, David will oversee Related’s finance, accounting and treasury groups. “David’s deal acumen, intellect and focus are unmatched and his generous and collaborative spirit have endeared him to our entire organization,” said Jeff T. Blau, CEO of Related Companies. “David’s track record and tenure at Related and his consistent determination and passion make him an ideal fit for the role.”

Read more about David