Toto Wolff to Lead F1-Focused Course at Harvard Business School

Self-described “college dropout” and “academic loser” Toto Wolff will help teach a course at Harvard Business School next winter focusing on how he has led the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team to historic success.

The racing executive will lead the class along with HBS professor Anita Elberse, who has already spent time studying Wolff’s management style, according to an announcement made Tuesday.

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After a successful career in banking and finance, Wolff took over as team principal and CEO of Mercedes’ F1 team in 2013 while taking a 30% stake in the venture. Since then, the team has won eight Constructors’ Championships and seven Drivers’ Championships.

He talked to HBS students about the keys to his success during a guest appearance alongside Elberse in March 2022. The professor has also written about and interviewed Wolff.

The 2024 course being offered to first-year and second-year MBA students will be called “Mercedes F1: Leading a High-Performance Team.”

“I feel very honored and privileged to continue working with the incredibly bright young minds at Harvard,” Wolff said as part of the announcement. “Whenever I step on campus, I am inspired by the students’ curiosity and ambition, and I leave energized by the special learning environment they create together with the brilliant faculty.”

Wolff will be an executive fellow at HBS, part of a program aimed to pair practitioners with faculty partners. The gig follows a 2021 appointment at Oxford’s Saïd Business School that was scheduled to last for two years.

“We very much look forward to welcoming Toto back to campus,” Elberse in a statement. “I have seen first-hand how much our students benefit from learning about Toto’s leadership journey and from his deep knowledge of what it takes to run a highly successful sports team. With Toto on board, I am confident that we can make a profound positive difference in the development of the leaders of tomorrow.”

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