15 Dec 2023

New Faculty Profiles: Sara Torti


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.

Sara Torti, senior lecturer, Entrepreneurial Management

What did you do before coming to HBS?
Before transitioning to academia, I spent 14 years at Google as a product and operating executive focused on creating and scaling technology-based businesses. My last position there was as COO of the Google Operations Center. Prior to that, I was a product leader on the Google Maps, Nest and Google+ teams, as well as a member of both the global and Asia-Pacific regional sales strategy teams. I have an AB from Harvard, an MBA from HBS, and began my career at the World Bank.

How have you exercised leadership in business?
Over my career I have grown products from zero to hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, built and launched products to billions of users, and grown and scaled teams to thousands of people. I’ve helped teams to navigate a range of product growth challenges, from finding initial product fit, to monetizing and scaling internationally. I’ve also managed teams and built organizations. While each experience has required a combination of detailed execution, business insight, and technical acumen, my most treasured learnings have to do with how to manage through influence and how to manage change. I am excited to be back on the HBS campus and share some of what I’ve learned with students so they can successfully build, optimize, and scale technology products and businesses.

What will you be teaching?
I will be teaching Product Management in the Elective Curriculum.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a professor?
I would be leading a technology company or investing in technology companies.

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in San Francisco, California.

What is something you like to do outside of your academic work?
Playing outdoors or scratch baking. I love being out in the mountains, whether it's hiking, fly fishing, or backcountry skiing. When not outdoors, I am constantly trying out new recipes because my family has a large sweet tooth and several different food allergies. I am also the founding sponsor of the Harvard College Innovation Challenge, which funds undergraduate entrepreneurship, and I enjoy mentoring aspiring product leaders and founders.

What’s your favorite book, movie, or piece of art?
I love books that help people better evangelize their ideas, thereby amplifying the chance of them being realized. Buy-In: Saving Your Good Idea from Getting Shot Down, by John P. Kotter and Lorne A. Whitehead, is one of my favorites. My favorite poem is “If” by Rudyard Kipling.

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