Mark Cohen: Professor of Marketing

Alumni PhotoAfter an absence of more than three decades, Mark A. Cohen (BS’69, MBA’71) has returned to the campus as a professor of marketing at the Business School. Following a successful career in retailing, Mark is teaching one of the most popular electives in the B-School, the Retailing Leadership Course.

As former Chairman and CEO of Sears Canada, Chief Marketing Officer and President of Softlines of Sears Roebuck & Co., Chairman/CEO of Bradlees Inc., and Chairman/CEO of Lazarus Department Stores, he brings his experience and expertise into the classroom. Using his business and personal connections, guest lecturers for his class include the CEOs of such impressive companies as Nautica, Lacoste, Ogilvy & Mather, and Footlocker.

Currently, Mark is also a Global Financial Consultant with Financo Inc., an investment banking organization specializing in retailing and manufacturing, and serves on the board of Trans World Entertainment Corp.

Mark was encouraged by his high school guidance counselor to apply to SEAS and majored in electrical engineering, which he characterized as “among the toughest in the school.” He worked part-time to pay his tuition and remembered how intense it was. “The engineering curriculum was punishing, and I swung between probation and Dean’s List, but the discipline that the engineering curriculum brings to you—if you survive it—is invaluable,” says Mark.

“When I began working in retailing, I had no interest in staying for more than a few months. But I realized that executive decisions were being made based on intuition and that I could use metrics and organize tasks and groups with results that were better than just using ‘gut sense’ alone. . . Being trained in the orderly universe of science and engineering has been an extraordinarily important asset for the past 35 years,” he says.

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