What were you doing in 1993? In Doug Maine’s case, he was securing the funding for the Internet’s first high-speed network that would entice businesses to then begin using the Internet. Vint Cerf, widely regarded as the “father of the Internet,” worked at the telecommunications company MCI back then. As did Mr. Maine, as chief financial officer. It was Mr. Cerf who helped lead the push for MCI to engineer and essentially donate the first high-speed T3 backbone for the Internet in the hope that it would enable the Internet to go commercial.
The decision—the $40 million decision—came down to Mr. Maine. MCI’s CEO said if Mr. Maine got behind it, he would, too. He did, but it then fell to him to lobby the board to approve the funding. “I had no idea how to justify giving away $40 million for an Internet network,” Mr. Maine said in an earlier interview. “So I asked Vint Cerf for help, and Vint coached me to use the analogy of the gold rush of 1848. ‘It wasn’t the miners who made the money, but the people who sold the picks, shovels and covered wagons.’ So that’s how we got approval; it was little more than a gut feeling that if we built the Internet network, others will figure out how to use it and we’ll make money carrying the traffic.” MCI recruited Mr. Maine straight out of graduate school. It was the late seventies, and AT&T controlled 100 percent of the country’s long distance telecommunications market. MCI was the first company to break the back of the ATT monopoly and adhering to a Professor’s advice, Maine’s career grew during his 20-year tenure with MCI. And in one of his final acts with the company, he steered its sale of MCI for $37 billion which was a significant accomplishment for MCI’s shareholders. For all of his success up to that point and over the years that followed, what Mr. Maine really wanted to be was a rock & roll concert promoter. “In high school, I was a not-so-good lead singer in a not-so-good rock band,” he says. “I knew I couldn’t do it professionally, so I came to Temple University to learn the business side of show business.” He became President of his ZBT Fraternity Chapter and Social Chairman of the Inter-fraternity Council, which he then leveraged to stage concerts on Mitten Hall’s third floor and routinely drew 2,000 students on a Friday night. He also played a big part in organizing the campus’s first large-scale concert at the time: Chicago, which in 1970, was touring in promotion of its first album. “It was my job to convince Ernie Casale, Temple’s Athletic Director, to let us use the newly opened McGonigle Hall,” Mr. Maine says. “He did, but he threatened to have me thrown out of school if anyone smoked and left a burn mark on the gym floor.” Chicago played to an audience of 7,000 at Temple (none of which smoked, for the record). “To feel partially responsible for that, it was such a confidence boost on an entirely different scale than I knew up to that time,” Mr. Maine says. This would prove to be the most significant of a stream of defining moments that Mr. Maine experienced while at Temple. He says that the afterglow from the Chicago concert, and the management of a fraternity house and chapter instilled a “results are the only thing that matters” business mentality and that, helped prepare him for his role with MCI and then IBM, which he joined in 1998 as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Maine returned to Temple’s main campus in 2008, after a 37-year absence since, when he was asked to join the newly-formed President’s Advisory Board by his former PWC audit partner and Temple alumnus, Bob Tarola, and Temple President David Adamany. Also a member of the board was Larry Magid, the Electric Factory founder, and the actual promoter of the 1970 Chicago concert, and the two developed a friendship. The Advisory Board was short-lived, but before it was dismantled, Mr. Adamany introduced Mr. Maine to M. Moshe Porat, PhD, former Dean of the Fox School of Business. “Knowing that my career had been in business, rather than entertainment, it was Moshe who asked me to join his advisory board at Fox, even though I didn’t go to Fox or major in business,” Mr. Maine says. That was the spark that lit the fire. Over the several years since, Mr. Maine has become one of the Fox’s School’s most active ambassadors, spearheading a pair of robust, New York area alumni organizations and the annual Temple Wall Street Day, for which he recently donated $100,000 to the Fox School to ensure it carries on well after his involvement. The bands may have been dropped from the equation, but Mr. Maine still has an uncanny ability to draw a crowd.
Temple University Degree
Bachelor of Science ’71, Klein College of Media and Communication
Title & Company
- Senior advisor, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., a privately owned and managed financial services firm.
- Former Chief Financial Officer, for IBM and MCI
Temple University Awards & Affiliations
- Recipient, Gallery of Success Award, 2016
- Former President’s Advisory Board
- Dean’s Council, Fox School of Business
- Commencement speaker, Fox School of Business, 2014
- Founder, Annual Temple University Wall Street Day
- Founder, The New York Angels of Diamonds
- Founder and Board Member, Metropolitan New York Chapter, Temple University Alumni Association
What I wanted to be when I was 20 years old
A concert promoter. I met Temple grad and [Electric Factory founder] Larry Magid and I knew right away that I wanted to be him.
Best piece of advice anyone ever gave me
It wasn’t actually intended for me. When I was studying for my MBA, I overheard a professor say to another student that if he was in the student’s position, he’d find a job with a technology start-up. That way, his career would grow with the company’s success.