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In Memoriam: A Tribute to Professor Aaron Hackett

The Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business honors the memory of Aaron Hackett, Professor of the Practice in Marketing, who joined the College in 2013.
Aaron Hackett, Professor of the Practice

Aaron Hackett, Professor of the Practice

Aaron Hackett, Professor of the Practice in Marketing at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, passed away peacefully on March 14, 2024.  

Aaron taught Strategic Brand Management to undergraduate and MBA students since joining the College in 2013. He strove to deliver the best possible classroom experience, regularly earning Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching Awards during his tenure. As an engineer-turned-marketer, he was also active in Georgia Tech's CREATE-X initiative, where he taught Startup Lab and coached startup founders. 

Aaron had over two decades of experience working at Fortune 500 companies, emerging organizations, and academia. Most recently, he was the Chief Marketing Officer of Sawa Credit, a Silicon Valley startup striving to reduce disparity in homeownership. As an author, his book 80/20 Brand: Brand Building with a P&G Edge details how leaders can build their businesses by thinking like Procter & Gamble brand managers. Aaron also served as the Strategic Planning Committee Chair for the Atlanta International School Board of Trustees.   

Before his career in marketing, Aaron worked as an engineer and IT professional. He earned an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business, an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas - Austin.  

In recognition of the immeasurable difference Aaron has made in the lives of hundreds of students at Georgia Tech, we share just a few of the many tributes from our community.  

For details on memorial services and the Aaron Hackett Memorial Scholarship Fund, visit Aaron Hackett’s memorial page. 


“Professor Hackett is the best teacher I have ever had the pleasure of learning from. I always found joy in his classroom, and he became my favorite professor. I took the Marketing Consulting Practicum this semester simply because I knew he would be teaching it.  

This school year with Professor Hackett has been an invaluable experience. Every class and meeting, Professor Hackett always had a smile on his face. It was a smile that I looked forward to every Monday and that I will always miss. As great of a professor as he was, I know he was an even better man. I am forever indebted to Professor Hackett for his guidance and support. I am so grateful to him for everything he did for me and taught me.” 

Alex Brewington, BSBA ‘24  

“Aaron was my colleague in the Marketing area at Scheller. We would frequently run into each other in the hallways of the College. Every single time I saw him, I was struck by three things: his instantaneous, infectious smile, his enthusiasm for everything, and his dedication to contribute to people around him. We have lost an amazing teacher, a great colleague, and a wonderful human being.” 

Ajay Kohli, Gary T. and Elizabeth R. Jones Chair of Marketing 

“I’m grateful for the privilege of knowing Professor Hackett and benefiting from his teachings during my time at Scheller. As a Black MBA student, Professor Hackett represented a milestone for me as my first Black professor, ever. Witnessing his presence was both motivating and inspiring. 

I had the opportunity to take three courses with him. I appreciated Professor Hackett's support and humor in class, as well as his personal encouragement for me to pursue opportunities outside of my comfort zone. His influence on me and my classmates is immeasurable.” 

Chasten McCrary, MBA ‘25 

“Professor Hackett was one of my favorite professors at Scheller. I remember gaining so much from his class especially his ‘I am a brand’ project. He inspired me and my classmates to think of what makes us who we are and instilled confidence in us to bring our uniqueness to our endeavors. I feel so lucky to have connected with such a great educator and person.” 

Jocelyn Blanchette, BSBA ‘23 

"Aaron was always enthusiastic about his role with CREATE-X. And, having an accomplished brand executive gave the program credibility. I always saw Aaron with a smile and this kind of go get 'em attitude. Even in times when there were obstacles, he always maintained this super positive, humble attitude while always being sure that progress was made. He’s worked with so many students. He was just a great pillar for the whole community." 

Rahul Saxena, Director, CREATE-X

“Professor Hackett had quickly become my favorite professor at Scheller. His dedication to his students and making sure we truly understood his content was unmatched. I was excited to work more with him for the NBMBAA Conference and learn more from his brilliant mind.” 

Dallas Charles, MBA ‘25 

"Aaron and I shared several light-hearted conversations as we prepared to teach at about the same time in the evenings. Over time, I learned about his extensive experience in brand management, his highly-rated book, and how much his students appreciated and respected him. I will truly miss conversations with Aaron, and all of us at Scheller will miss an exemplary colleague."

Ravi Subramanian, Gregory J. Owens Professor of Operations Management

“Thank you for sharing your love for educating students and inspiring the uninspired. I will use your writings as a reminder to keep moving forward.” 

Jay Wiggins, MBA ‘25 

"Professor Hackett was one of my favorite professors at Georgia Tech. Such a great teacher and most importantly, a great human! I'm so happy that I had the pleasure of taking his class. His representation as one of the only Black professors of the College was inspiring and necessary.” 

Rachel Ware, MBA ‘23 

“Aaron was a trusted colleague and friend. We were both teaching faculty in the Marketing area at Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business, having both been in brand management at best-in-class marketing companies (Aaron at P&G and me at Coca-Cola). As such, we were kindred brand spirits and had many enriching conversations about "who did it better" - P&G or Coke. Aaron was a wonderful colleague - a true superstar in the classroom and an asset to the Marketing area at Georgia Tech. Students and colleagues loved him, and he is truly irreplaceable.” 

Tim Halloran, Senior Lecturer of Marketing 

“Professor Hackett was such an incredible guy, and I had the pleasure of taking two of his courses just last year during my time in the Scheller MBA program. I will forever remember his lessons, and I’m so grateful for the time I had with him.” 

Skye Blevins, MBA ‘23 

"Aaron was the reason I applied to Tech for my MBA. I sat in on one of his lectures as part of a guest student event for potential applicants, and it was incredible. I later went on to apply and gratefully was accepted. I took Professor Hackett's Marketing Management class in the first semester. He was an incredible professor and brilliant marketer. I will forever be inspired by his teaching, insights, experience, and his spirit."

Jackson Shultz, MBA '26

“Professor Hackett was such an inspiration to his students, and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from him. He truly left a mark on all of us.” 

Jordan Enright, MBA ‘24 

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