Bloomberg News

Harvard Business School Hires Manchester United’s Ferguson

April 04, 2014

Alex Ferguson

Ferguson, 72, is the winningest coach in British soccer, with 49 trophies in 39 years, and was knighted in 1999. Photographer: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Alex Ferguson, the legendary British soccer manager famous for clutch wins and a volcanic temper, is bringing his coaching techniques to Harvard Business School.

Ferguson, who retired from managing Manchester United (MANU:US) last year, will teach in Harvard’s executive education program, the school in Boston said on its website yesterday.

Ferguson, 72, is the most successful manager in British soccer with 49 trophies in 39 years and was knighted in 1999. At Manchester United, he developed players including David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo and won 13 league championships, with his team often winning in the last minutes of games called “Fergie Time.” He’s also known for his halftime tirades dubbed “the hairdryer,” and once kicked a soccer shoe at Beckham’s head, leaving a gash in the occasional model’s face.

“We look forward to welcoming Sir Alex Ferguson on the HBS campus to share his remarkable leadership journey, and contribute to our Executive Education participants’ ability to make a profound difference in the world,” said Anita Elberse, a Harvard Business professor who developed a case study with Ferguson.

Ferguson, a Scot who grew up in Glasgow, is a Labour Party supporter who has described himself as a socialist. He’s also an owner of race horses and a fan of French wines.

He is joining Harvard for a “long-term teaching position,” and will start in May with a course in the Business of Entertainment, Media and Sports program, according to the website.

Ferguson and Elberse published a 2013 Harvard Business Review article together. In it, he stressed the importance of maintaining authority.

“You can’t ever lose control,” he said in the article. “And if any players want to take me on, to challenge my authority and control, I deal with them.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Oliver Staley in London at ostaley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at lwolfson@bloomberg.net Chris Staiti


Race, Class, and the Future of Ferguson
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Companies Mentioned

  • MANU
    (Manchester United Plc)
    • $17.58 USD
    • -0.05
    • -0.28%
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