Trustee Craig Benson to Lead Search Committee

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Babson College President Len Schlesinger will step down as the 12th President of Babson College at the end of this academic year. A search committee has been established, led by Babson Trustee, Gov. Craig Benson.

Chair of the Board of Trustees, Joseph L. Winn stated, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank Len for his extraordinary service to Babson as the College’s 12th President. Five years after his arrival, Babson has never been in a stronger position by almost every measure. The College has joined the ranks of America’s elite schools and the opportunities that lie ahead for Babson have never been more exciting.  The Board shares Len’s view that this is an opportune time to initiate a transition process.  We now enthusiastically prepare to identify the right leader to serve as Babson’s 13th President to take us through the College’s 100th anniversary in 2019.”

“I am enormously proud of what we will have accomplished over the five years I have been on campus,” stated Len Schlesinger, Babson President.  “We expanded the undergraduate student body and dramatically enhanced the academic quality of each successive entering class.  We have seen dramatic increases in applications from all over the world and have created what I proudly labeled the most ‘intentionally diverse’ student population in the world. Employers are more impressed than ever with our students, their education and their skill sets and our graduates and alumni have experienced significant economic success.  The College continues to maintain its unquestioned global leadership in Entrepreneurship education and has extended it as a methodology across its undergraduate, graduate, executive education and Babson Global programs, allowing us to distinguish ourselves in numerous other academic and programmatic areas. 

“But it is now time to reorient much of my attention to those in my family who both deserve and require it,” Schlesinger continued.  “An orderly transition for the President’s role over the coming months will make that possible.  I value, above all, the opportunity to attend more closely to my mother at a time she requires closer support and more time as well with my children as they pursue their respective journeys locally, on the West Coast and in Australia.”

The Search Committee will commence its work to select Babson’s next President immediately.  Listening sessions for the Babson community are scheduled for later this week. 

View President Schlesinger’s message to the Babson Community.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds™. The College is a dynamic living and learning laboratory, where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society -- while at the same time evolving our methods and advancing our programs. We shape the leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to create economic and social value. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value. For information, visit

About Len Schlesinger

Leonard A. Schlesinger became the 12th president of Babson College on July 1, 2008--bringing to the College a blend of leadership experience in academia and industry, particularly in the retail and service sectors.
He came to Babson from Limited Brands, based in Columbus, Ohio, where he served in executive positions from 1999–2007, most recently as Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. From 1985–1988, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Au Bon Pain.
His academic career includes twenty years at Harvard Business School where he served as the George Fisher Baker Jr. Professor of Business Administration, leading MBA and executive education programs. Courses he taught include organizational behavior, human resource management, general management, and service management. President Schlesinger is well-known for his pioneering research and publications on the “Service Profit Chain.” He also was architect and chair of Harvard Business School’s MBA Essential Skills and Foundations programs. After his time at Harvard Business School, he served as a Professor of Sociology and Public Policy and Senior Vice President and Counselor to the President at Brown University.
President Schlesinger has lectured and consulted on service quality, customer satisfaction, and organizational change for over 200 major corporations, non-profit organizations, governments and international leadership organizations around the world. He was an active leader in the design and development of the “Work-Out!” initiative at General Electric and the “Reinventing Government” process for the U.S. Department of Labor.
His writings on organizational management have been widely published. He is the author or co-author of eleven books, including Just Start: Take action, Embrace uncertainty, Create the future (Harvard Business School Press 2012), Action Trumps Everything (Black Ink Press, 2010), The Value Profit Chain (Free Press, 2003), The Service Profit Chain (Free Press, 1997) and The Real Heroes of Business ... and Not a CEO among Them (Doubleday Currency, 1994), and has written over 40 articles for academic audiences as well as for The New York Times, Fast Company, and Harvard Business Review. He has served on the editorial boards of four major academic journals and has published numerous case studies on management issues that have sold well over one million copies. He also has completed three video series on service management issues.
President Schlesinger currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM), a member of the Board of Directors of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Unreal Brands, Inc. and a Director of Invoice Exchange, LLC, a member of the Corporation of the Winsor School, and is a member of the President’s Council of the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. He also serves as an advisory council member of Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative, and is a member of the Council on Competitiveness and the Council on Foreign Relations.
President Schlesinger holds a Doctor of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, an MBA from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in American Civilization from Brown University. His wife, Phyllis, is a long time member of the Babson faculty specializing in organizational behavior with a prior faculty appointment at The Ohio State University’s Fisher School of Business. They have three daughters.

By Michael Chmura, | 12/03/2012 02:00