Yale President Richard Levin was appointed Monday to the board of directors for Satmetrix Systems, based out of Mountain View, Calif., a provider of business loyalty solutions designed to improve profitability.
Levin said he was excited about the opportunity to join the board because he thinks the business has great potential and correlates with his academic interests.
“I had been studying technology-based industry for years,” Levin said, adding that his responsibility will not cause extra travel time because Satmetrix is coordinating its meetings with the meetings of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, another board on which Levin serves.
Two of Satmetrix’s major investors are Sutter Hill Ventures, whose managing director is Yale Corporation successor trustee G. Leonard Baker ’64, and Stanford University, whose former president Gerhard Casper LAW ’62 is also a successor trustee on the Corporation.
Both Baker and Casper said they played no role in Levin’s decision to join the company.
“I neither knew that he joined the board,” Casper said.
Baker said that although he did not recruit Levin, he feels great about the company and Levin’s inclusion.
“We think this is an extremely interesting company that has potential to change the way the business is done. The idea is that all of us as we go through life experience a lot of customer satisfaction and customer dissatisfaction,” Baker said. “The world doesn’t do a very good job in capturing that.”
Baker said the company uses technology to try to better handle customer satisfaction, and that the company’s activities fit Levin’s academic niche as an economist who studies information technology. Levin, he said, “may be as good as anyone who I have ever met in interpreting data” and applying it to make successful decisions and changes.
Satmetrix CEO and President Andre O. Schwager said Levin’s international experience and perspective on the economics of technology would be beneficial to the board.
“Richard Levin is regarded as a world-class thought leader who knows how to quickly grasp the framework of change required to translate vision into reality. Under his leadership, Yale continues its long history of connections, exchanges and collaborations that solidifies its position as one of the world’s great centers of learning,” Schwager said.
Levin leads the Board of Science, Technology and Economic Policy at the National Academy of Sciences and is leading a major study on intellectual property rights. He is a trustee on the Hewlett Foundation and serves on the board of Journal Storage, a nonprofit venture that archives and makes accessible scholarly journals.