SOURCE: The Prahalad Family

April 19, 2010 16:18 ET

Leading Management Thinker C.K. Prahalad Passes Away at 68

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - April 19, 2010) -  World-renowned management thinker Dr. Coimbatore Krishnarao (CK) Prahalad passed away on April 16, 2010 in San Diego, CA. He was 68. Prahalad was Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Corporate Strategy and taught at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan since 1977. His family was with him at the time.

Professor Prahalad received his undergraduate degree from Loyola College, Chennai and MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He received his PhD in management from the Harvard Business School in 1975 and was on the Boards of NCR Corporation, Hindustan Unilever Limited, TVS Capital Funds Limited, and Pearson. He also served on the Boards of non-profit organizations The indUS Entrepreneurs -- TiE -- (the world's largest organization devoted to Entrepreneurship) and the Advisory Board of Microsoft, India.

Prahalad was a globally known management scholar and was ranked #1 Management Thinker in the world in two consecutive global surveys by the Times of London. Dr. Prahalad has consulted with the top management of many of the world's foremost companies.

A prolific author, Dr. Prahalad contributed to fundamental business concepts such as strategic intent, dominant logic, core competence, and co-creation arising from his work with multinational companies. He co-authored several bestselling business books including The Multinational Mission (with Yves Doz), Competing for the Future (with Gary Hamel), The Future of Competition (with Venkat Ramaswamy) and The New Age of Innovation (with M.S. Krishnan). His groundbreaking paper, "the Core Competence of the Corporation" (with Gary Hamel) remains the most reprinted article in the history of the Harvard Business Review. His articles in the Harvard Business Review won a total of four McKinsey Prizes. 

A hallmark of Prahalad's career was his belief that business must serve the cause of humanity as it produces profit. This theme was established early on in his work on strategic intent, arguing that imagination, not resources, was a key driver of corporate performance. He continued to build on his work exploring the human impact of business as he developed new strategic frameworks. His most ambitious work, the Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, outlined a model for large firms to engage with the world's poor, significantly changing the assumptions of governments, corporations and NGOs about how to address the issue of global poverty. The recipient of many honors and awards, Prahalad's most recent accolades included a 2009 Padma Bhushan, one of India' highest civilian honors. 

While Prahalad's work and intellectual contribution is widely known, he is remembered for his generosity, empathy and commitment to students, colleagues and his family. He is survived by his devoted wife of 40 years, Gayatri, his children, Murali Krishna and Deepa, their spouses and three grandchildren. 

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