ARE THE INGREDIENTS
GET TO KNOW DAVE
David S. Pottruck is the former CEO of Charles Schwab. He joined the Charles Schwab Corporation in 1984 as Executive Vice President of Marketing and led its innovative
direct response advertising campaigns. Under his marketing leadership from 1984 to 1987, when the company went public, Schwab’s revenues tripled in size. He became Schwab’s President and COO in 1992, co-CEO with Chuck Schwab in 1998, and CEO in 2002. Over Dave’s 20-year tenure at Schwab, the company’s assets in custody grew from $5 billion to over $1 trillion and the equity value of Schwab grew from roughly $50 million to approximately $16 billion.
Dave, who graduated from Wharton in 1972, teaches in Wharton’s executive MBA program, which means that most of his students come to class with over ten years of experience as business leaders. His class helps people at this level focus on high-energy, inspirational leadership.This is the kind of leadership they must embody to lead breakthrough, disruptive change—and to persist throughout the long haul of envisioning the future, describing the need for change with clarity, and developing and executing a plan. It demands foresight, flexibility, and the ability to attract a team with the necessary talent and energy to succeed.
The reality is that the world is constantly changing. Leaders can get in front of change, respond to it, or be roadkill. Naturally, Dave wants his students to get in front of it and develop the skills and mindset necessary to execute bold change well. He starts class with the premise that students have good ideas that should be implemented. His course
is not about developing the right strategy; rather, its focus is on successfully leading the execution of the change.