22 Oct 2021

New Faculty Profiles: David Edelman


HBS faculty comprises more than 300 scholars and practitioners who bring leading-edge research, extensive experience, and deep insights into the classroom, to organizations, and to managers. We asked new faculty at HBS about their background, their new roles, and their interests.

David Edelman, senior lecturer, Marketing

What did you do before coming to HBS?
I was chief marketing officer of Aetna, and before that had 25 years in client service with consulting firms (BCG and McKinsey) and a digital agency (Digitas).

How have you exercised leadership in business?
At Aetna, I ran a 450+ person team, building new digital capabilities, launching the first new brand in 166 years for the corporation, and turning marketing into a true growth driver for the business.

What will you be teaching here?
Marketing for the Required Curriculum.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a professor?
Probably more executive advisory work. I have been working with companies using Artificial Intelligence to change healthcare and marketing technology.

Where are you from?
Originally, Brooklyn, New York, but not one of the areas that are now so cool.

What is something you like to do outside of your academic work?
I play saxophone, taking lessons from a tough teacher who grades me every two weeks! I also play in R&B/rock/jazz combos when I can. Thirty-five years ago, I was the music director of the HBS School Show, and I look forward to seeing this year’s production!

What’s your favorite book, movie, or piece of art?
I am a music fanatic, so my favorite “works of art” are the live Stage album by David Bowie, and the anthology of music by Manu Dibango, an amazing African tenor saxophonist.

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