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Mellody Hobson, co-CEO and president, Ariel Investments, accepts 2019 John Wooden Global Leadership Award from UCLA Anderson board chair Robert S. Murley ('74)

UCLA Anderson School of Management Honors Ariel Investments Co-CEO and President Mellody Hobson

The annual John Wooden Global Leadership Award recognizes exceptional business leaders

Los Angeles (December 2, 2019) ― UCLA Anderson School of Management on Monday honored Mellody Hobson, co-CEO and president of Ariel Investments, with the 2019 John Wooden Global Leadership Award at a gala dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Now marking its 12th year, the award is named for the legendary UCLA basketball coach, author and leadership expert John Wooden (1910–2010). It is given each year to an exceptional business leader whose leadership style and service to the community reflect the high standards of performance, integrity and ethical values for which Wooden was known.

Hobson was chosen as this year’s Wooden Award recipient in recognition of her business leadership, her philanthropic and community-building activities and her strong advocacy of financial literacy and investor education.

“Mellody Hobson has demonstrated principled, outstanding leadership throughout her career,” UCLA Anderson Dean Antonio Bernardo said. “She is a passionate advocate for financial literacy and investor education, and her boardroom service and skills have benefited many communities, including her hometown of Chicago.”

At Monday’s banquet, Jeffrey Katzenberg, entertainment executive and co-founder and managing partner of WndrCo engaged Hobson in an on-stage conversation about leadership, values and the Wooden legacy.

Mellody is completely unafraid to speak up for what she feels is right,” Katzenberg said. “I have seen time and time again that what she feels is right, is right.”

In accepting the award, Hobson recalled that early in her career she had read books about great investors and about great coaches, including Wooden. “I love the fact that he said honesty was non-negotiable,” she said.


“I will cherish this award because of what John Wooden represented, and accept it with humility.”

Three-time Emmy-winning actor Beau Bridges, who played for Coach Wooden at UCLA and stayed close to him throughout his life, made a special appearance to pay tribute to the coach.

“You could always count on hearing the truth from him about basketball and life,” said Bridges, who also portrayed Wooden this year in the one-person play Coach: An Evening with John Wooden.

“He wanted all of us to be the best we could be and showed us the way to get there: ‘Make each day your masterpiece.’”

Hobson, who was recruited to Ariel by founder John Rogers when she was still a Princeton undergraduate, began at the investment management firm as a summer intern and rose to become its president, serving in that role for two decades. In July, she was appointed Ariel’s co-CEO and is now its largest shareholder.

Hobson is a nationally recognized voice for financial literacy and investor education. She serves as a financial expert in frequent media appearances on CBS News and other outlets, and authors a regular column for Black Enterprise Magazine. An active philanthropist and community-builder in her hometown of Chicago and elsewhere, she also channels her financial expertise as a board member of Starbucks, JPMorgan Chase and Quibi, a short-form video content company founded by Katzenberg.

In a powerful 2014 TED talk titled “Color Blind or Color Brave?” Hobson urged Americans to engage in more open, even uncomfortable conversations about race, calling such exchanges a clear pathway to better businesses and a better society.

In 2015, Time Magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Previous John Wooden Global Leadership honorees include: Reed Hastings (co-founder and CEO, Netflix); W. James (Jim) McNerney Jr. (retired chairman, president and CEO, The Boeing Company); Ursula Burns (former chairman and CEO, Xerox); Paul E. Jacobs (former executive chairman, Qualcomm); Robert Iger (chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company); Indra Nooyi (former CEO, PepsiCo); Peter Ueberroth (managing director, Contrarian Group, and president of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee); Frederick Smith (president and CEO, FedEx); Kenneth Chenault (former chairman and CEO, American Express Company); and Howard Schultz (former chairman and CEO, Starbucks).

Net proceeds from the annual event support fellowships for UCLA Anderson students who embody Coach Wooden’s leadership ideals and commitment to improving the lives of others. Each of the four 2019 John Wooden Global Leadership Fellows will receive a $25,000 fellowship:

Amanda K. Beck (MBA ’20)

Rob Busalacchi (FEMBA ’20)

Danielle Schlegel (EMBA ’20)

Apichaya Taechamahapun (UCLA-NUS EMBA ’20)

About the John Wooden Global Leadership Award

As the most successful coach in U.S. men’s college basketball history, Wooden’s legacy of leadership transcends athletics and spans generations. As a coach, prolific author and inspiring speaker, he dedicated his life to motivating people to achieve their highest potential. Wooden instilled in others a sense of pride, a commitment to ethics and a respect for teamwork. UCLA Anderson extends these fundamental principles and Wooden’s famous Pyramid of Success into the classroom through the Wooden Global Leadership Program. Learn more about the John Wooden Global Leadership Award, fellowships and UCLA Anderson School of Management:

About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management is among the leading business schools in the world, with faculty members globally renowned for their teaching excellence and research in advancing management thinking. Located in Los Angeles, gateway to the growing economies of Latin America and Asia and a city that personifies innovation in a diverse range of endeavors, UCLA Anderson’s MBA, Fully Employed MBA, Executive MBA, UCLA-NUS Executive MBA, Master of Financial Engineering, Master of Science in Business Analytics, doctoral and executive education programs embody the school’s Think in the Next ethos. Annually, some 1,800 students are trained to be global leaders seeking the business models and community solutions of tomorrow.

Contact Information UCLA Anderson Media Relations, Rebecca Trounson, (310) 825-1348,