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A unique story, 50 years in the making

Created by Alfred P. Sloan, Chairman of General Motors from 1937 to 1956, the Sloan programme was established to provide those with existing business experience a cross-functional understanding of management. Three world-class business schools offer programmes that share this great heritage: London Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Professor Charles Handy, himself a Sloan Fellow from MIT, was appointed by the School’s first Principal, Dr Arthur Earle, to develop and run the programme at London Business School – and it’s still the only programme of its kind in Europe. It was in September 1968 that the first class of LBS Sloan Fellows began the 10 month advanced management studies, graduating on 10th July 1969.

Today, LBS Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy prepares senior managers for positions of organisational leadership in a global context.


Dr. Arthur Earle is appointed the first Principal of London Business School.

Reflecting on the creation of the programme and the impact it had on the School’s international presence, Dr. Arthur Earle comments, “As the first principal, I was fortunate to be present for many ‘firsts’ in the history of the School, but none that gave me greater pleasure.”

Arthur Earle, Principal
London Business School, 1965–1972

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The first LBS Sloan class.

The first woman is admitted on to the programme.

“It is difficult to decide what I remember most about my time as a Sloan, but two things have stayed with me and have been invaluable. The first is to think more widely and approach problems from several angles, and the second is to do what suits you best, to build on your personal strengths, even when it runs counter to current management thought.”

Olga Aikin-Driver , (British) SLN03
Senior Partner, Aikin Driver Partnership

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Olga Aikin-Driver meets the Queen at LBS.

HRH The Prince of Wales formally opens the Plowden Building on 26th May.

London Business School is incorporated by Royal Charter on 3 September, giving the School the right to confer and grant degrees.

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Prince Charles meets Lord Plowden, Chairman of the Governing Body.

Under the leadership of Paul Willman, Sloan is transformed into a degree-awarding programme.

Professor Willman believed accreditation was a key factor in raising the programme’s profile. He describes the change as “pouring the existing curriculum into the degree format while retaining the transforming elements: the cohort itself, the overseas visits, the guest speakers.”

Paul Willman, Programme Director
London Business School, 1989–1992

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Class of 1995.

The first female Dean is appointed - Professor Laura D. Tyson.

The class increases to over 60 students from more than 20 different countries.

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Class of 2007.

The first Sloan Summit is held at London Business School. The event brings together Sloan Fellows from around the world that graduated from London Business School, Stanford and MIT.

LBS begins a new chapter of its history, with the opening of Sammy Ofer Centre, a state-of-the-art teaching hub housed within an iconic London building, the Old Marylebone Town Hall.

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Former Dean Sir Andrew Likierman opens Sammy Ofer Centre.