Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

When Gary Loveman was a doctoral student in MIT’s economics department, he used to ride the Red Line to campus. One of his favorite ways to pass the time on those commutes was to talk shop with economics professor Bob Solow, who earned a Nobel Prize while Loveman was studying at the Institute.

“I’d find [Solow] standing in the middle of the car with his Red Sox hat on,” Loveman says. “It was great because he couldn’t escape, and we could just chat.”

Loveman’s penchant for challenging intellectual conversation reflects his high-achieving, competitive nature. “Of course I’m competitive,” he says. “I think most academics are. If you get to a high level of academic accomplishment, you’ve probably had to do an awful lot of competing.”

After MIT, Loveman taught economics at Harvard Business School for nine years and simultaneously consulted for Harrah’s Entertainment, now the world’s largest gaming corporation. He says he loved teaching and became especially focused on understanding the strategy and operations of service companies, an interest that became increasingly valuable to his Harrah’s clients. In 1998, to Loveman’s complete surprise, the gaming executives asked if he would like to join their senior management team full time. What was originally envisioned as a two-year gig, lasting through his Harvard sabbatical, has stretched to 11 years. He became CEO in 2003.

“It’s highly multifaceted,” Loveman says of his work at Harrah’s. “We have large construction projects, substantial financing issues; it’s a politicized business, an international business, and a high-technology business. If you’re a competitive person and you like to measure yourself against some standard–whether a competitor or your own goal–it allows you to do that very well.”

Despite his success in academia and the gaming industry, Loveman considers his greatest professional accomplishment to be finishing the PhD program at MIT. “It really pushed me to my limits,” he says. “I’m enormously proud of it.”

Loveman lives with his wife, Kathy, in the suburbs of Boston. They have two college-aged daughters.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me