Renaissance Man Returns as Haas Adviser

David Riemer, marketing guru and theatrical company entrepreneur, is back for his third year as a Haas executive-in-residence after being reappointed by Dean Rich Lyons.

Former vice president of marketing at Yahoo! and president of J. Walter Thomson West, Riemer will advise students on career issues and business plans. Riemer, a theater production founder and currently a marketing consultant, also will mentor Haas@Work participants, moderate several conferences, and present guest lectures on topics that will include product marketing, innovation, branding, and inspiring innovation.

“We greatly appreciate all of David Riemer’s contributions to Haas," says Dean Rich Lyons. “He has helped develop Haas@Work into the strong experiential learning program that it is today and provided valuable one-on-one guidance to students. We are very fortunate to have him with us for another year."

Riemer’s office hours are noon to 2 p.m. on alternate Tuesdays in F589. His schedule is listed on his faculty website page, and he recommends that students make an appointment by e-mail at [email protected].

After more than two decades in the corporate world, Riemer has embarked on several new adventures. Last year he created consulting firm Box Out Industries to work with entrepreneurial Internet and consumer technology companies ranging in size from two to 240 employees. He also co-founded theatrical production company Spiral Staircase, reviving an interest in performing arts that he developed in college.

This year, Riemer joined the board of trustees of San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater. He is also a board member and chair of the capital campaign for the Destiny Arts Center, an Oakland organization that teaches martial and performing arts as a way to engage youth and keep them off the streets.

Although skills to run a theater and business may seem totally disparate, they're much the same to Riemer.

“In theater, getting the story down is paramount. I have friends at Pixar who say that it takes five years to make a film, but four years to get the story right,” he says. “In the business world it’s equally important to get the story right. If you don’t get the story right, it’s impossible to create a great company or build a great product. In the business world you call that a business strategy; in advertising, it’s a creative brief. You have to figure out what you’re doing, who you’re doing it for, getting the story right."