01 Dec 2023

New Faculty Profiles: Michael Moynihan


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 leaders across the globe. We asked new faculty at HBS about their background, their new roles, and their interests.

Michael Moynihan, lecturer, Marketing

What did you do before coming to HBS?
I’ve been in consumer marketing for the last 30 years. Upon graduating from HBS in 1993, I went to work at General Mills, marketing brands like Cheerios and Yoplait yogurt. While working on the Cheerios brand, I orchestrated a LEGO co-promotion that ultimately led to me joining The LEGO Group, where I’ve been for the last 27 years. I am currently heading up several functions within our global marketing team related to brand, marketing, and portfolio strategy (including brand development, media, and marketing planning, portfolio strategy, research and insights, and strategic partnerships).

How have you exercised leadership in business?
The LEGO brand has grown quite a bit over the last 20 years. This has required a great deal of curiosity, bravery, and focus in transforming our marketing model. For example, moving beyond just marketing product franchises to better marketing and managing the LEGO brand, shifting from a heavy reliance on paid media to owned and earned media, and better integrating our brand strategy to our portfolio of experiences. No single person has the answers on how to pull off these transformations. My role has been to create the right environment for our teams to exhibit the curiosity, bravery, and focus to pull them off.

What will you be teaching?
A Marketing course called Creative Brand Value. It’s all about how brands create value for consumers and firms.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a professor?
I would continue with my day job. I’m deeply passionate about the LEGO brand specifically, and branding and marketing more generally, so I’m very fortunate to hold the role that I do.

Where are you from?
I grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, and have been a New Englander for most of my life.

What is something you like to do outside of your academic work?
I’m an avid golfer. (That doesn’t mean I’m good at it.) I also enjoy running.

What’s your favorite book, movie, or piece of art?
My favorite book is Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom. Not only is it a heartwarming story, but it inspired me to think deeply about my own life—about those who have inspired me how to show gratitude to them, and the obligation that I have to help inspire others. One of the many reasons that I’m so excited by the opportunity to come back to HBS as an instructor is that it helps me to live the moral of that book.

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