News & Highlights

  • NOVEMBER 2017

Professor Ranjay Gulati Meets with Executives in Istanbul

On November 21st, the Chair of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, Professor Ranjay Gulati, met a group of 32 AMP alumni during an event held in Istanbul. He announced the retirement of Kathy Venne, Portfolio Director of the Advanced Management Program (AMP), who served at Harvard Business School for 40 years. Professor Gulati also emphasized the importance of staying connected within the network of HBS alumni. He highlighted the AMP Renewal Programs that are held in different parts of the world in an effort to keep alumni links active globally. Professor Gulati further announced plans for an upcoming refresh program in Europe, one that would be facilitated by Kathy Venne and a group of faculty members.
  • NOVEMBER 2017

HBS Interviewee Event in Dubai

First-round interviews for the MBA Class of 2020 were held between mid-October and mid-November. Beyond its main campus in Boston, MA, HBS conducts interviews globally; in Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai, São Paulo, New York City, Bay Area CA, London, and Paris. The interviews were conducted in Dubai between Nov. 1st – Nov. 4th and a special Interviewee Event was held on November 1st. A panel session was led by Alpana Thapar, MBA 2012 and Assistant Director of the Dubai Office. These events aim to provide a platform for interviewees to interact with alumni and learn more about their experience in different programs. Decisions for first-round of interviews will be released as of December 12, 2017.
  • JULY 2017

Professor Joshua Margolis Leads Case Study in Tel Aviv for Alumni

On July 3rd over 30 alumni gathered in the AOL office in Tel Aviv to participate in a lively case study led by Professor Joshua Margolis about leadership and change management. Margolis taught his case "Ron Johnson: A Career in Retail" about Ron Johnson's successful career with Target and Apple, and his unsuccessful attempt to turnaround JCPenny. The case included a video of Ron Johnson speaking with HBS students, filmed when the case was first taught on campus. The ensuing discussion explored a framework on how to diagnose, design and deliver change in an organization.

New Research on the Region

  • February 2018
  • Case

Hikma Pharmaceuticals Governance Journey

By: Lynn Paine, Suraj Srinivasan and Gamze Yucaoglu

The case opens with Said Darwazah, chairman and CEO of Hikma Pharmaceuticals, the multinational generics company, anticipating the company’s 2017 AGM and reflecting on changes made over the previous year to address concerns expressed by proxy advisors and some shareholders about Hikma’s reliance on a combined chairman/CEO position, the long tenure of some directors, and the company’s approach to executive pay. The case describes Hikma’s origins as a Jordanian pharma company founded by Darwazah’s father in 1978, and traces the evolution of its governance as a private family company, then as a publicly-traded company listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2005, and finally as a member of the FTSE 100, beginning in March 2015. Ahead of the 2017 AGM, Darwazah is confident that shareholders will approve changes made to the company’s executive incentive plan (EIP) and steps taken to accelerate the turnover of long-serving directors, but he wonders how much longer the company will be able to continue with a combined Chairman/CEO and, more generally, how to marry the high level of governance expected by shareholders with the entrepreneurial spirit that had driven Hikma’s growth and development.

  • January 2018
  • Case

Peak Games: Hiring Priorities in Times of Rapid Growth (A)

By: William R. Kerr and Gamze Yucaoglu

Sidar Şahin, founder and CEO of Peak Games, a Turkey-based global mobile gaming company, must decide on the final list of candidates for the critical global marketing director position the company has been trying to fill for over a year. Since its founding in 2010, Peak Games has grown to become Europe’s 3rd biggest grossing online gaming company and its mobile games have made a name for themselves internationally. Şahin’s team has grown to 100 people, almost all of whom reside in the same office in Istanbul, Turkey. As Peak’s games reached an audience of over 350 million users worldwide, the recruitment needs and criteria also changed. Şahin needed more internationally experienced talent in the company. Yet, this was not an easy background to acquire in Turkey, and Şahin valued that team members shared the office to meld into the company culture. Throughout the year, the company’s HR director has used multiple search channels and interviewed various candidates. In April 2017, having received a short list of candidates, none of whom looked like the “perfect fit” at an initial glance, Şahin is set on reaching a decision on the position.

  • January 2018
  • Teaching Material

Peak Games: Hiring Priorities in Times of Rapid Growth (B)

By: William R. Kerr and Gamze Yucaoglu

On November 7th, 2017, Sidar Şahin, founder and CEO of Peak Games, a Turkey-based global mobile gaming company, had just closed the sale of Peak Games’ card games studio. This sale included three of the company’s top grossing games and half of its team. Sidar was happy about the $100 million sale to the global gaming giant Zynga. He felt that the spin out would sharpen Peak Games’ focus on the casual game genre, which was a faster growing genre with cyclical trends. Having attained the desired focus for the company, Sidar was already thinking about what he needed to do to make Peak Games into 10x what it is today.

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Istanbul Staff

Esel Çekin
Executive Director
Yasemin Çağlar
Educational Programs Manager
Eren Kuzucu
Research Associate
Zeynep Maggonul
Administrative Office Manager
Gamze Yucaoglu
Assistant Director - Research

Dubai Staff

Alpana Thapar
Assistant Director, MENA Region
Samer Al-Rachedy
Research Associate

Tel Aviv Staff

Margot Eiran
Associate Director
Dhalia Tabori
Administrative Assistant