Professor Foster teaches High Technology Management, Business Plan Development and management consulting Field Study. He has taught at Anderson for 28 years, half-time for 14 years while a full-time executive, and then 14 years full time, joining the faculty full time in 1999. He created and teaches the popular High Technology Management course each year, teaching it to over 1,000 students during the past 18 years. He also taught Business Plan Development for six years as part of the school?s Price Center for Entrepreneurship.
Professor Foster has been the Director of the Global Access Program (GAP) for the past 11 years, the international field study and MBA thesis requirement for Anderson?s Fully-Employed MBA students. He provides overall academic direction of the program including the design and development of GAP?s six month integrative, capstone course for 265 students, a faculty of 13 professors working with 54 high technology companies from 19 foreign countries. He manages executive seminars for participating international company executives and the formal business plan presentations at the conclusion of the course. He also manages relationships with GAP?s international partners from trade and technology governmental agencies in Finland, England, Brazil, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and Chile. In 2011 the government of Finland awarded him a Knight of the White Rose for his contribution to over 130 Finnish companies participating in GAP over the past 13 years.
Bob has taught management Field Study every year since 1983, advising over 150 management consulting field studies, most of them for high technology firms such as Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, Nokia and Hewlett-Packard, as well as many startup technology firms. His teams have won many school awards for outstanding consulting studies.
During a 17-year period from 1983 to 1999, he was president/CEO of four different high technology firms. Products include software (enterprise resource management, financial applications, customer relationship management, digital mapping, GPS), factory automation, industrial machinery, map publishing and composite plastics.
For 13 years, he worked at Xerox, first as VP of Software Development responsible for 300 programmers and analysts. Later, he was VP of Marketing and Sales with a staff of 500 and 100 direct salesmen. XCS was a startup division that grew to a profitable $100 million division during his tenure. For seven years, Bob was President of Thomas Bros. Maps, the second largest map publisher in the U.S. He managed its conversion to digital mapping and introduced digital map products to the Internet.. He was founder and CEO of an industrial robotics systems integration firm that sold robotic welding and spray painting systems.
In 2002, the full-time MBA class voted him one of the top five Most Outstanding Professors at UCLA Anderson. The Fully Employed MBA classes of 2003 and 2005 voted him their most outstanding professor during their three year program. He was awarded the 2006 Citibank Teaching Award for the most outstanding teacher of the year as voted by the faculty?s teaching committee. In 2008 and 2011 the students in the UCLA Anderson-National University of Singapore Executive MBA program voted him their Teaching Excellence Award.
In 2010, UCLA Anderson celebrated its 75th anniversary by selecting 100 alumni from its 37,000 graduates who were the most inspirational and had the most impact. He was honored by being selected as one of those 100. In addition, six of his former students were also selected.
He is a member of the board of several major high technology firms and a member of the Tech Coast Angels angel investing organization.