Garth Saloner

Professor, Economics
+1 (650) 723-1940

Garth Saloner

Botha-Chan Professor of Economics

Dhirubhai Ambani Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship for 2023–2024
Academic Area:

Additional Administrative Titles

Co-Director, Stanford dy/dx

Bio

Garth Saloner, the Botha-Chan Professor of Economics, served as the ninth dean of Stanford GSB from September 2009 until September 2016.

He is an economist whose intellectual interests span a broad range of applied areas including strategy, leadership, and entrepreneurship. 

Saloner’s career has been highlighted by a deep passion for strategy and entrepreneurship and a commitment to educating students to think and act with a comprehensive strategic leadership perspective. His intellectual interests focus on organizational economics, strategic management, competitive strategy, and entrepreneurship. As Stanford GSB dean, he was an innovator in the evolution of management education with the goal of transforming leaders who can change the world.

In 2006, Saloner led the Curriculum Review Committee that restructured Stanford GSB’s MBA program, prioritizing a personalized approach to drive leadership transformation. Stanford GSB introduced the new curriculum in 2007, which provides courses at multiple levels and challenges each student according to their background and experience. The curriculum now includes courses in personal leadership, cross-cultural understanding, and innovative thinking, alongside requirements for traditional sound management discipline.

Under Saloner’s administration:

  • The size of the tenure-line faculty increased about 25 percent, from 100 to 125;
  • The number of (practitioner) lecturers teaching in the school increased from 56 to 130;
  • The flagship MBA program solidified its position as the destination of choice for young men and women seeking a full-time two year management education program;
  • The PhD program strategically increased its size, from 100 to 140 students;
  • The Stanford GSB’s centers and research support activities were reorganized, to facilitate faculty research support requests;
  • Executive Education more than doubled in annual revenues, growing from about $18 million to over $40 million and leaped successfully into online education with unique programs to broaden Stanford’s global reach; 
  • Stanford Ignite and other Global Innovation Programs were launched to expand the GSB’s international reach and impact in China, India, Brazil, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico and Europe;
  • The previously named Sloan program became the MSx program and expanded to two sections and almost 100 students; and 
  • The Knight Management Center was completed and inaugurated and the new student residence facility, Highland Hall was conceived, funded and constructed.

Saloner has previously held positions as senior associate dean for academic affairs, director for research and curriculum development, and director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

He has been a Stanford faculty member since 1990, and recognized for his groundbreaking research on network effects, which underlie much of the economics of e-commerce and business. He has taught strategic leadership, entrepreneurship, e-commerce, women’s perspectives on entrepreneurship, and critical analytical thinking.

Saloner is a two-time recipient of Stanford GSB’s Distinguished Teaching Award (1993, 2008), one of only two professors to twice receive the award. He co-authored two books: Strategic Management and Creating and Capturing Value: Perspectives and Cases on Electronic Commerce.

In 2001, he took a two-year leave from Stanford to serve as an advisor, board member, or investor with a number of Silicon Valley startups. His experience extends to applying innovation as an engine for growth in developing economies. More recently, Saloner conceptualized and led the effort to establish the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, which was launched in November 2011. Known as Seed, the Institute aims to improve the lives of people in poverty on a massive scale through entrepreneurship and innovation. In July 2013, Seed established it first regional innovation hub in Ghana to provide coaching and training to entrepreneurs in West Africa, and in May 2016, Seed established a second regional hub in East Africa. 

A native of South Africa, Saloner received a BCom (bachelor of commerce) and MBA (with distinction) from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He received an MS in statistics, an AM in economics, and a PhD in economics, business, and public policy from Stanford between 1978 and 1982. He has previously taught at Harvard University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1982-1990), first as an assistant professor, and later as a tenured full professor in both the economics department and the Sloan School of Management.

Saloner and his family have been active in the Stanford community for more than 20 years. Stanford is part of the Saloner “DNA,” with the family having earned a combined eight academic degrees from the university.

In addition to spending time with his close-knit family, Saloner is an avid photographer, a cycling enthusiast and enjoys international travel.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Stanford University, 1982
  • MS, Stanford University, 1982
  • AM, Stanford University, 1981
  • MBA, University of Witwatersrand, 1977
  • BCom, University of Witwatersrand, 1975

Academic Appointments

  • The Botha-Chan Professorship, 2020 to present
  • John H. Scully Professor of Leadership, Management and International Business, 2016–2020
  • Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2009–2016
  • Jeffrey S. Skoll Professor of Electronic Commerce, Strategic Management, and Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2000–2009
  • Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 1993–1996
  • Robert A. Magowan Professor of Economics and Strategic Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 1992–2000
  • Professor of Strategic Management and Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 1990–1992
  • Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management, 1990
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Harvard Business School, 1989–1990
  • Associate Professor, MIT, 1987–1990
  • Sloan Fellow, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, 1987–1989
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 1986–1987
  • National Fellow, Hoover Institution, 1986–1987
  • Assistant Professor, MIT, 1982–1987

Awards and Honors

  • Spence Faculty Fellow, 2016–2017
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, Universidad ESAN, 2013
  • MBA Distinguished Teaching Award, Stanford GSB, 2008
  • MBA Distinguished Teaching Award, Stanford GSB, 1993

Publications

Journal Articles

Julio Rotemberg, Garth Saloner
RAND Journal of Economics
2000 Vol. 31 Issue 4 Pages 693-716
Garth Saloner, Andrea Shepard
RAND Journal of Economics
1995 Vol. 26 Issue Autumn Pages 479-501
Julio Rotemberg, Garth Saloner
American Economic Review
1994 Vol. 84 Issue 5 Pages 1330-1349
Joseph Farrell, Garth Saloner
Journal of Industrial Economics
1992 Vol. 40 Issue March Pages 9-35
Janusz A. Ordover, Garth Saloner, Steven C. Salop
American Economic Review
March 1990 Vol. 80 Issue 1 Pages 127-142
Joseph Farrell, Garth Saloner
RAND Journal of Economics
1988 Vol. 19 Issue 2 Pages 235-252
Joseph Farrell, Garth Saloner
American Economic Review
December 1986 Vol. 76 Issue 5 Pages 940-955
Julio J. Rotemberg, Garth Saloner
American Economic Review
June 1986 Vol. 76 Issue 3 Pages 390-407
Joseph Farrell, Garth Saloner
RAND Journal of Economics
1985 Vol. 16 Issue 1 Pages 70-83

Books

Garth Saloner, A. Michael Spence
Wiley
New York
2002
Garth Saloner, Andrea Shepard, Joel Podolny
Wiley
New York
2001

Book Chapters

Garth Saloner, Timothy Bresnahan
Competing in the Age of Digital Convergence
1997

Teaching

Executive Education & Other Non-Degree Programs

Change the trajectory of your startup by expanding your leadership and business skills through the dy/dx program.

Stanford Case Studies

Garth Saloner, Jim Ellis, Jeffrey Conn
2018
E326(A)
Claire Magat, Garth Saloner
2009
E326(B)
Claire Magat, Garth Saloner
2009
Annie Adams, Lyn Denend, Sarah Garrett, Whit Keuer, Garth Saloner
2009
Garth Saloner, Claire Magat
2009
E355
Victoria Chang, Jessica Jackley, Garth Saloner
2009
Victoria Chang, Riad Dimechkie, Jessica Jackley, Garth Saloner, Carla Sayegh
2009
Garth Saloner, Jocelyn Hornblower
2009
Sean Harrington, Garth Saloner
2008
R. Ellis, Garth Saloner, Amanda Silverman
2008
E291
Sean Harrington, Garth Saloner
2008
E308
Sean Harrington, Garth Saloner
2008
Katherine Bose, Garth Saloner
2008
Garth Saloner, Alex Tauber
2008
E288
Bethany Coates, Garth Saloner
2008
Jocelyn Hornblower, Garth Saloner
2008
Jocelyn Hornblower, Garth Saloner
2008
Jocelyn Hornblower, Garth Saloner
2008
Garth Saloner, Bethany Coates, Ana Garcia Azuelo, Jessica Flannery and Haydee Moreno
2007
Katherine Bose, Garth Saloner
2007
Katherine Bose, Garth Saloner
2007
Katherine Bose, Mike Harkey, Garth Saloner
2006
R. Ellis, Garth Saloner, Alex Tauber
2006
Victoria Chang, Garth Saloner
2006
R. Ellis, Mike Harkey, Garth Saloner
2005
Garth Saloner, Angie Strange, Alex Tauber, Amanda West
2005
Garth Saloner, Angie Strange, Alex Tauber, Amanda West
2005
Emily Melton, Garth Saloner
2005
Aisa Aiyer, Carly Irestone, Garth Saloner, Alex Tauber
2005
Victoria Chang, Garth Saloner
2004
E160
Jamie Earle, Garth Saloner, Jeffrey Skoll
2003
Garth Saloner, Janet Feldstein
2002
EC11
Tyee Harpster, Garth Saloner, A. Michael Spence, Meredith Unruh
2000
Eric Marti, Garth Saloner, A. Michael Spence
2000
Garth Saloner, A. Michael Spence, Christopher Thomas, Elizabeth Urban
2000
Robert Burgelman, Garth Saloner, Christopher Thomas
2000
EC9A
Katherine McIntyre, Ezra Perlman, Garth Saloner, A. Michael Spence
2000
Garth Saloner, Michelle Moore, Cara Snyder
2000
Kasey Craig, Garth Saloner, A. Michael Spence
2000
Katherine McIntyre, Ezra Perlman, Garth Saloner, A. Michael Spence
2000
Garth Saloner
2000
Garth Saloner, Kostas Sgoutas, A. Michael Spence
2000
Eric Marti, Garth Saloner, A. Michael Spence
2000
Eric Marti, Garth Saloner, A. Michael Spence
2000
EC14
Garth Saloner, A. Michael Spence
2000
Eric Marti, Garth Saloner, A. Micheal Spence
1999
Garth Saloner, A Michael Spence, James McJunkin, Todd Reynders
1997
Garth Saloner, Hank Chesbrough,
1993
Garth Saloner, Sanjeev Dheer, Brian Viard
1993
Garth Saloner, Hank Chesbrough,
1992

Stanford GSB Affiliations

  • Member Advisory Council 2009-Current
  • Chair MBA Program Task Force 2006
  • Director Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship 2005-2009
  • Director Center for Entrepreneurial Studies 2004-2009
  • Founder and Co-Director Center for Electronic Business and Commerce 1999-2004
  • Area Coordinator Economics 2003-2006
  • Area Coordinator Strategic Management 1990-1999
  • Director Research and Curriculum Development 1993-1996

Stanford University Affiliations

  • Co-Founder Stanford Computer Industry Project
  • Chair Stanford University Executive Cabinet 2006

Service to the Profession

Board of Directors

  • Destination U, 2004-2008
  • Aplia, 2001-2004
  • Synthean, Inc, 1999-2007
  • Tradeweave, Inc., 1999-2001
  • NextStage Entertainment, 1998-2002
  • Charles River Associates, 1998-2000
  • Brilliant Digital Entertainment, Inc., 1996-2003
  • Quick Response Services, Inc., 1993-2004

External Affiliations

  • Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, 1991-2009
  • Steering Committee Member, NBER Program in Industrial Organization, 1990-2009
  • Standards Workshop Planning Committee, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, 1989-1990
  • Member, Organizing Committee, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Annual Telecommunications Policy Research Conferences, 1989-1991
  • Organizer, Conference on the Economics of Standardization, MIT, 1986

Editor or Editorial Boards

  • Editorial Board, Strategic Management Journal, 1991-1994
  • Editorial Board, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 1989-1996
  • Associate Editor, International Journal of Industrial Organization, 1988-1996
  • Co-Editor, Rand Journal of Economics, 1988-1995
  • Associate Editor, Rand Journal of Economics,1986-1988

Insights by Stanford Business

June 20, 2018
The Stanford Venture Capital Initiative is quietly assembling a massive database from people who prefer to stay mum.
July 23, 2015
Youku Tudou CEO on micro movies and other ways Chinese directors are leveraging the internet.
February 01, 2011
The Ford Motor turnaround required tough decisions and labor cooperation but CEO Alan Mulally is optimistic about the future.
October 01, 2007
James Mwangi, the head of Equity Bank of Kenya, is the central figure in a major microfinance success case.
October 01, 2007
In the inaugural Social Innovators Speaker Series talk, the actress and activist explains her work with FINCA International.
August 01, 2001
In an excerpt from their book, Garth Saloner and Michael Spence explore the ways managers can use technological innovations to add value.

School News

October 09, 2023
Students flock to initial offerings this fall.
May 20, 2022
Stanford dy/dx launches with help from top venture capital firms.
May 27, 2021
The state-of-the-art complex, designed for “structured serendipity,” prepares to open — again.
November 15, 2018
The Sloan — now Stanford MSx — Program has evolved in many ways in the last six decades. Here are six of the most significant changes.
May 23, 2016
Annual dinner honors military service and recognizes contributions of key alums, faculty, and students.
April 07, 2016
Since 1968, Stanford GSB has recognized lifelong achievement in management, leadership, and community service with the Ernest C. Arbuckle Award.
March 25, 2016
Event honored Fran Maier, MBA ’89, and highlighted recent research on Latino entrepreneurship.
February 08, 2016
More than 150 unique elective courses offered this year; offerings continually refreshed with new perspectives, lecturers, and ideas.
October 06, 2015
New faculty and lecturers offer unique perspectives and experience to augment program offerings.
June 17, 2015
Annual diploma ceremony celebrates graduates degrees, certificates and awards.
March 27, 2015
Alumni couple have demonstrated commitment to finding solutions to looming energy challenges.
March 19, 2012
Jerker Johansson, MBA ’86, and his wife, Stephanie, made a generous commitment to The Dean’s Fund to help the school build on its collective achievements.
March 01, 2012
In 2012, Stanford University concluded an unprecedented five-year campaign that positioned the school to address a range of challenges in the global economy.
June 06, 2011
Two 2011 Social Innovation Fellows focus on environment and international development.
April 30, 2011
Reflections on the generosity of our alumni and friends, and their help in building the Knight Management Center.
January 31, 2011
Structured trips provide intellectual and emotional experiences with other cultures for Stanford MBA students learning to lead in a global economy.