Insead business and technology professor Soumitra Dutta is to be the next dean of Cornell University’s Johnson school of business. He will take up the position in July, succeeding Joe Thomas, who became the tenth dean at Cornell in 2008, at the age of 66, after serving as interim dean for a year

Prof Dutta set up and is the faculty director of the new media and technology innovation lab at Insead, which has campuses in Abu Dhabi, France and Singapore. He has worked in the US, Europe and Asia, as both an engineer and an academic, and has been a visiting professor at the Haas School at UC Berkeley, and at both Oxford and Cambridge universities in the UK. He joined Insead in 1989 held senior roles as dean of executive education, between 2002 and 2006 and dean of external relations between 2006 and 2009.

Prof Dutta says he took the job because of the Johnson school’s innovative thinking in business. “I am excited about the close connections the school has to the broader university and especially the opportunities available through collaboration on the tech campus. I am eager to take up the leadership position building on the strong foundations laid by Dean Thomas.”

Prof Dutta is the second top technology professor to leave Insead for a dean’s job in the past year. Christoph Loch, a specialist in the management of product innovation, became dean of the University of Cambridge’s Judge business school on September 1, 2011.

He is also one of the growing number of Indian-born professors to become dean at a top US school. Nitin Nohria took over as dean of Harvard Business School in 2010 and Sunil Kumar became dean at Chicago Booth in 2011.

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