Adjunct School of Management Professor Christopher Lovelock, a modern-day Renaissance man described by friends and family as a devotee of hiking and gardening, among other interests, died unexpectedly of natural causes on Feb. 24 at his Cape Cod home of 18 years. He was 67.
Lovelock was born July 12, 1940 in Saltash, England, in the district of Cornwall during the throes of World War II. His son, Tim Lovelock ’01, said he remembers his father telling people he was born “between a thunderstorm and an air raid.”
He received a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters in economics from the University of Edinburgh in the early 1960s. He then traveled to the United States in 1967, where he received his MBA from Harvard and then a doctorate from Stanford.
“He loved people, and he loved talking to people, unlike most Brits,” his surviving brother, Roger Lovelock, said. “He would talk to people at bus stops and on trains. He loved to learn what they thought.”
Roger Lovelock said this passion for interacting with people drew his brother to marketing.
Lovelock dedicated his life to his academic and private industry work, which was focused around services marketing and the effect of technology in services. He taught at the Yale School of Management beginning in 2001 but also spent 11 years teaching at the Harvard Business School and two years at the International Institute for Management Development, a business school in Lausanne, Switzerland.
He held positions at Stanford University, the University of California Berkeley and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1995, Lovelock founded Lovelock Associates, where he worked as a private consultant focusing on services marketing.
The sixth edition of a textbook he co-authored, “Services Market: People, Technology, Strategy,” was printed in 2006. Other works include “Product Plus,” “Marketing Challenges” and “Public and Nonprofit Marketing,” as well as around 60 articles and more than 100 teaching cases. His publications are available in 11 languages.
Yet Lovelock is also remembered as a dedicated family man.
Tim Lovelock said his father always put his two children, himself and his sister Liz, first.
“He juggled his teaching appointments in part for the experience he wanted to give me and my sister,” Tim Lovelock explained. “The main reason he taught at IMD was so we could live in Switzerland.”
One of Lovelock’s friends, Chuck Weinberg, said he was introduced to Lovelock in 1972, when they taught a class together on public and nonprofit marketing at Stanford. That class, Weinberg said, started off a lifetime of academic collaboration and close friendship. Lovelock was one of the founding scholars for services marketing and was persistent in pursuing his studies, Weinberg said.
“He would never settle for the easy answer or just to record current conventional wisdom, but would probe deeply and find new ways of understanding,” Weinberg wrote in an e-mail.
Lovelock was also an avid traveler.
“He loved to travel, that was his biggest pleasure,” Roger Lovelock recalled. “He used to travel all over the world, going to seminars and giving lectures and visiting family.”
Tim Lovelock said he this his father visited between 30 and 40 countries.
“He didn’t travel for the sake of traveling,” Tim Lovelock said. “He would visit family and colleagues. He literally knew people all around the world and wanted to visit interesting places.”
Four days before he died, Lovelock had returned home from a trip that had taken him to Singapore, Bali and India.
Lovelock was also a proactive citizen in the Cape Cod community of Eastham, MA, Tim Lovelock said.
“His specific area of expertise was transportation, so he was very active in trying to engage in transportation reform,” Tim Lovelock explained. His preoccupations included problems ranging from bus and ferry service to road maintenance, as well as other issues, such as education.
Lovelock is survived by Tim Lovelock in Paris, daughter Elizabeth, brothers Roger and Jeremy and sister Rachel Lovelock.