Max Wibaux
Home Region

Paris, France

Undergrad Education

Loughborough University of Technology, BA International Relations, 2009

Previous Experience

Toddle Ltd., Russell Stover Chocolates LLC, Lindt & Sprungli (USA and UK) Ltd., Reckitt Benckiser Plc, L'Oreal-France, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

HBS Activities

Section I Career Rep and Alumni Rep, Entrepreneurship Club, VCPE Club, Outdoors Club

“I wanted the time to take stock of my last ten years.”

GlaxoSmithKline. L’Oréal. Lindt & Sprungli. With a resumé that includes significant marketing roles in these and other CPG companies, Max Wibaux, MBA 2019, already has an impressive decade of experience behind him.

"I loved the diversity of the workload," Max says. “I was constantly firefighting while managing two or three challenges simultaneously. This was attractive to me!" Yet the concentration on marketing left Max with gaps in some of the fundamentals of business such as finance and entrepreneurship.

In general, the MBA would enable Max to "transition out of CPG marketing into different fields." Specifically, HBS could be an environment for meaningful reflection. "I wanted the time to take stock of my last ten years," he says.

Philosophically aligned

For many new students, the ambiguities of classroom cases may be intimidating. But Max welcomes the gray areas. "In business, sometimes there’s no black and white – you may have to make decisions with incomplete information. You need to be flexible – you want to get the best outcomes possible within the context of your situation."

HBS courses, Max finds, are designed with a large degree of openness in mind. "Our classes are based on the input from others," he says. "You often learn more from your classmates than the direct teaching from professors. In fact, many times students have actually worked in the companies we’re studying – you get that additional nugget of insight you can’t find anywhere else."

Even in areas where Max is expressly looking for new skills, such as finance, the coursework retains a student-centered outlook. "Our finance class is not solely focused on models," he explains, "but on how the cases can be useful to you. They offer a lens or filter that helps you develop an intuition as to why specific transactions are structured in a certain way. It’s much more fascinating than I expected."

Through The Entrepreneurial Manager class, Max discovered a new field of interest for himself. "I realized that before school, I liked building things from the ground up, even within large companies. It was exciting to create something entrepreneurial within an established company. Now I’m looking for ways to assist others in building up their brands and businesses."

Through a combination of these and other influences, Max has been "led organically toward early-stage venture capital and growth equity in the food and beverage space," a functional transition that would allow him to combine his previous experience with freshly acquired appetites. 

For his summer internship, Max will be joining a consumer-products-focused private equity firm in a role in which he can "bring together all the elements HBS teaches us: operations, strategy, the inner workings of financing, and how to avoid investment pitfalls and traps. I want to add value to portfolio companies beyond the invested capital, based on my skills and knowledge."