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Influential Marketing Executive Invests $1 Million in McCombs School of Business

Robert Malcolm, executive in residence at the McCombs School of Business, has donated $1 million to the school to establish an endowed chair in marketing innovation. 

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AUSTIN, Texas — Robert Malcolm has donated $1 million to the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin to establish an endowed chair in marketing innovation. Malcolm is the executive in residence at the Center for Consumer Insight and Marketing Solutions at the McCombs School.

“Marketing is not a subject that always gets the highest visibility in business schools,” Malcolm said. “I wanted to create a lasting resource and make a statement that marketing is a critical part of the McCombs School. This resource will help the program continue to be at the leading edge of innovation.”

The $1 million gift for marketing innovation will focus on advancing the future of marketing at McCombs by providing the resources to attract and support leading marketing academics, create future-oriented programs and provide innovative experiential learning opportunities.

“The department is thrilled and appreciative of Rob’s generous gift,” said Wayne Hoyer, chair of the marketing department. “In these times of rapid change, marketing innovation is essential to the success of any company, and having a chair focused on this topic will provide opportunities for McCombs to be thought leaders in this critical area.”

Malcolm joined the McCombs School as the executive in residence in 2013. He is currently the chair of the McCombs School’s re-branding committee that is working to increase the national and international visibility of the school.

“Rob’s investment in McCombs has been far more than financial,” said Jay Hartzell, dean of the McCombs School. “He has given his time and expertise generously, and it is clear that he truly cares about the future of the McCombs School and the next generation of innovative marketing students and professionals. We are deeply appreciative of his continual support of the school and look forward to working together in the years to come.”

Malcolm started his career in marketing at Procter & Gamble Co., where he spent 24 years in marketing and general management assignments in the U.S., the Middle East and Europe. He then became the first global president of marketing, sales and innovation at Diageo PLC where, during his nine years, he helped turn the iconic spirits company into a marketing powerhouse. After 41 years working on more than 75 brands in more than 100 countries, Malcolm retired. He was then recruited by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania where he taught for four years before coming to McCombs.

He has remained active in the marketing community, sitting on the boards of directors of Hershey’s, Logitech, YorkTown LLC and the American Marketing Association, which he chaired in 2015-16. He is currently an angel investor and adviser to numerous startups and is a senior adviser with the Boston Consultant Group in their marketing practice.

Malcolm has a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, where he donated $1 million to the World Bachelor in Business program in December 2016.

“This is a continuation of my journey of giving back, but with a specific intent to signal and support innovation in marketing and marketers of the future,” Malcolm said.