Skip to Content
MIT News magazine

Gary Loveman, PhD ’89

Love of competition drove him to Harrah’s
February 23, 2010

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.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?

Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate

Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway

Weirdly, any recent work on The Line doesn’t show up on Google Maps. But we got the images anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.