Telecom and Consulting Leaders to Speak at Commencements

Arun Sarin, MBA 78, MS 78 (Material Sci. and Eng.), former CEO of Vodafone, will share his insights from more than 20 years in the telecom industry during the Berkeley MBA commencement at 2 p.m., Friday, May 24.

Marc Singer, BS 86, director of McKinsey & Co.'s Marketing and Sales Practice for the Americas, will talk on his experiences, including guiding top companies through dizzying technological advances, in his speech at undergraduate commencement at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 23.

Their speeches carry on a Haas tradition of inviting distinguished alumni to speak at the commencement of the program from which they graduated.

Arun Sarin, MBA 78, MS 78

Sarin's career began in 1984 at Pacific Telesis Group, where he pioneered the expansion of the mobile communications industry. He went on to become president and COO of wireless spinoff AirTouch Communications in 1997.

Sarin became CEO of Vodafone’s US/Asia Pacific region after the 1999 merger of AirTouch and Vodafone, which became the world's second-largest mobile phone company. He served as CEO of Vodafone from 2003 to 2008, overseeing the firm's expansion into emerging markets including India, Ghana, Romania, and Qatar.

Sarin was named the Haas School's Business Leader of the Year in 2002 for his outstanding contributions to the telecommunications industry and the school. Sarin is a member of the Haas School's advisory board and a

San Francisco Bay Area-based senior adviser to asset management firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. He sits on the boards of directors of Cisco Systems and Safeway. He previously served on the boards of such companies as Gap and Charles Schwab and as a non-executive director of the Court of the Bank of England. In 2010 Sarin named an Honorary Knight of the British Empire, receiving one of the highest achievements for an individual in the UK.

Marc Singer, BS 86

Singer worked his way through Berkeley at a bike shop in his native Walnut Creek. He spent four years as a staff accountant and manager at Deloitte and earned an MBA from Stanford before joining McKinsey. He celebrated 20 years with the consulting firm in August.

Technology has played a major role in Singer's work as he has helped leaders in a variety of industries with all aspects of marketing and sales. In 1999, he co-authored the bestselling book Net Worth: Shaping Markets When Customers Make the Rules, which examined the impact the Internet was already having on business, and marketing in particular. Today, his focus has shifted to advising companies on their social media strategies.

Singer's recent work includes developing an integrated customer experience and loyalty program strategy for a leading multibrand global hotel chain; helping a premium retailer improve conversion rates through better and more frontline uses of shopping and loyalty program data; and working with a top bank to develop an integrated program to improve customer satisfaction while lowering attrition.

Singer is also a member of the Haas School's advisory board.

Alumni Mark Singer and Arun Sarin