CEO, AEye; former Senior Adviser, TPG Global, L.L.C.
Tuck offered the capability to get to know myself and that only comes through trust and teamwork with other people.
It’s mid-February and Blair LaCorte T’90 has had an interesting week. He went to the Grammys, hung out with Sting and Bruce Springsteen, attended several board meetings, and left his job as CEO of XOJET, a private aviation company. In a few days, he will be on a flight to New York to give a speech for the Kairos Society at the New York Stock Exchange.
But at this moment, he isn’t thinking about all that. He is on the phone with a reporter, saying hello to his wife, pulling into his driveway, and watching his dog escape and run down the street. Blair LaCorte is unruffled. That’s because he is at yet another exciting juncture in a long, successful career, and right now his mind is on the big picture: He is taking a break.
“It’s always a risk to step back because you’re taking yourself off a natural track,” says LaCorte. “But it’s not really a risk, it’s an investment. It’s one that pays off substantially.” LaCorte would know. One of his great skills as a business leader is not only to guide a company from infancy to success, but to know when to set it—and himself—free.
During LaCorte’s three-year tenure at the helm of XOJET, the company’s market share rose from 9 to 23 percent at a time when the private-aviation market shrunk by 30 percent. Under his watch, it became the world’s second-largest private aviation business and the fastest growing company in the history of the field. The brand is strong, the team is capable, and LaCorte decided the time was right for him to move on.
He has done this before. After notching stints at General Electric, Sun Microsystems, Cadis, Internet Capital Group, VerticalNet, and Savi Technology over about 20 years, LaCorte took a leap in 2004 and worked as an executive fellow at the Center for Digital Strategies at Tuck. From there, he went on to become an operating partner at TPG, one of the world’s largest and most diverse private equity firms. But it was his experience as a student at Tuck that he says gave him the ability—and willingness—to veer off a natural career track, an ability that has allowed him to innovate in five different industries.
“I went to Tuck because I wanted to be in a community that offered something more than just academics,” says LaCorte. “Tuck offered the capability to get to know myself and that only comes through trust and teamwork with other people.”
In the coming months, LaCorte will return to work part time as a senior adviser for TPG, one of the world’s largest investment firms, and he will sit on the boards of four companies and two nonprofits. He will practice yoga, coach soccer, spend time with his three sons, play tennis, take spin classes, and, hopefully, fly through the stratosphere on one of Virgin Galactic’s first commercial space flights. But mostly, he plans to contemplate his next move.
“I’m going to learn over the next six months what’s happening in the world and I’m probably going to go back in and run something,” says LaCorte. “I think one of the keys in life is not to let the world define you. At the end of the day, the biggest risk is not to take risks.”
At BCG, A Small-Team Approach: Meet Cristina Henrik T’08
A conversation with Cristina Henrik T’08, managing director and partner at the Boston Consulting Group, on how private equity has evolved and what has stuck with her since her Tuck days.Read More
Leading with Purpose: Bank of America CFO Alastair Borthwick T’93
Alastair Borthwick T’93, CFO at Bank of America, reflects on his Tuck experience and the people-first approach that drives his success as a financial leader.Read More
Why We Need More Women Entrepreneurs—And Investors
A conversation with venture capitalist Elizabeth Davis T’20, an investor with the Anthemis Group’s Female Innovators Lab.Read More
Not a Map—More of a Compass: Meet David Grain T’89
David Grain T’89, founder and CEO of Grain Management, talks his career journey and what drives him during a fireside chat with Dean Matthew Slaughter, titled “Minority Participation in Private Equity.”Read More
Meet Tuck Alumnus Jose Minaya T’00, CEO of Nuveen
A commitment to building diverse, inclusive, and equitable structures across organizations is personal for Jose Minaya T’00, who was named CEO of Nuveen in 2020.Read More
Meet Tuck Alumnus Richard Noyes of Bartlett Associates
Meet Tuck Alumnus Richard Noyes of Bartlett AssociatesRead More
Noreen Doyle T’74, chair of the Newmont Mining Corporation, was the first woman to chair the British Banker’s Association in its 96-year history.Read More
Preserving Culture Through Banking: Meet Dawson Her Many Horses T’10
Dawson Her Many Horses T’10, SVP & Native American business leader at Wells Fargo, helps Native American tribes protect their way of life.Read More
Tuck Alumnus Named Head of Goldman Sachs’ Global Securities
At Goldman Sachs’ Global Securities Division, Tuck Alumnus Jim Esposito orchestrates a global operation managing risk for asset managers, pension funds, insurance companies, hedge funds, corporations, and governments.Read More
Bringing Order to the Chaos
Solving complex problems is what's kept Diego Ferro T'93 in finance for 25 years. Here's what he's learned.Read More
T’98 Rick Cardenas’ first job was bussing tables at a Red Lobster. Fast forward 25 years and he’s now CFO of Darden Restaurants which, until 2014, owned Red Lobster.Read More
Fun Finance: Lindsey Drake T’11 talks about her role as a senior finance manager at Amazon Books.Read More
James “Jim” Lindstrom
Jim Lindstrom T’01 has a career of both investment and senior operational roles—a unique perspective to lead a multinational corporation in today’s dynamic environment.Read More
As managing director of the Boston Forum of Golden Seeds, a national network of angel investors funding early-stage companies led by women, Deb Kemper T'95 lives by the motto: be the change you want to see in the world.Read More
Kathryn Baker T'93 is a true expert on boards of directors. She has served on more than 20 of them over the last 16 years, ranging from oil and gas companies to Norway’s Central Bank to Tuck’s own European Advisory Board.Read More
The Chinese economy has grown tremendously since 1989, and so have the opportunities for enterprising Tuck graduates, like Jie Lian T'01.Read More
Not many people in ball bearing sales finish their careers in venture capital. For Mike Carusi T’93, now one of the most successful health care investors in Silicon Valley, that unlikely journey started with two eye-opening years at Tuck.Read More
Williams College chief investment officer Collette Chilton T’86 is helping deliver big returns for the Little Ivy.Read More
Investor. Philanthropist. Entrepreneur. Roger McNamee T’82 is all of these and more in a career that has taken him to the top of the tech world.Read More
Alain Karaoglan T’87 never could have predicted he would one day be chief operating officer of Voya Financial, a top-tier retirement plan provider with more than $500 billion in assets under management and administration.Read More
Navigating the present while honoring the past is a challenge for many Native people. Debbie Atuk T’04 has found a way to do both.Read More
After working in security sales for Goldman Sachs, Christopher Fox T'81 was drawn back to the public sector because he wanted to serve his community and for the intellectual challenge.Read More
At Tuck, Vicki Craver T'97 discovered a latent interest in financial strategy. Now, after a successful career at Goldman Sachs and raising a family, she applies her financial accumen to vetting nonprofit projects.Read More
Following five years in the mergers and acquisitions industry, Scott Frantz T'86 joined a few close friends in putting together a private equity and venture capital business.Read More
Sword, Rowe & Company CEO Daniel Rowe T’09 is blending his love of music into a successful career with the boutique merchant bank.Read More
In much of the Middle East and North Africa, cash is still king. PayPal’s Francis Barel T’05 wants to change that, and open people’s lives to the world along the way.Read More
Christopher Williams T'84 harnessed his architectural and business skills to grow the Williams Capital Group into one of the most successful mid-sized investment banks in the world.Read More