Olivier Rubel


Ph.D., HEC Montréal and GERAD, Université de Montréal

Research Expertise 
Competitive strategy, game theory and applied optimal control

Professor Olivier Rubel is fascinated by two related questions: How can firms make better decisions in highly competitive environments? And what are the optimal strategies for implementing these decisions over time?

Rubel’s research examines how companies can best determine and allocate resources to marketing activities when facing a realistic chance of encountering a product harm crisis such as the SUV rollover controversy faced by Ford and Firestone in 2000 or the many product recalls Mattel was forced to make in 2007. His findings point to no single, simple answer to invest less or invest more. Rather, each firm’s best solution depends on the characteristics of the crisis, including its likelihood, its impacts on sales and on the effectiveness of marketing instruments.

Rubel has presented his work at international conferences in marketing and management science and published in Automatica and in the book Advances in Dynamic Game Theory  (Springer, 2007). He authored a monograph for the French Ministry of Finance that explored the economic relationship between Japan and China in Southeast Asia. He was previously a visiting assistant professor at Purdue University.

A native of France, Rubel earned his master’s degree in operations research at the Université Paris–Dauphine and completed his Ph.D. at HEC Montreal (the affiliated business school of the Université de Montréal). He focused on the design of dual-marketing channels, exploring how to manage direct and indirect sales to consumers. He has also studied competitive online marketing.


  • Professor of the Year 2013, UC Davis Graduate School of Management.
  • UC Davis Small Research Grant, 2009, 2010, 2011.
  • UC Davis Travel Grant, 2009, 2010.
  • Doctoral Workshop Fellow, Duke Theory Rich Modeling, 2007.
  • Doctoral Fellow, American Marketing Association Sheth Foundation, 2006.
  • Doctoral Fellow, Marketing Dynamics Conference, 2005, 2006.
  • Doctoral Fellow, Marketing Science Conference, 2006.
  • Excellency in Scholarship, HEC Montreal, 2004-07.
  • Recruitment Scholarship, HEC Montreal, 2003.
  • Ranked 9th Over 2000 Candidates, Agregation d'Economie et Gestion, 2002.
  • Full Scholarship, Ecole normale supérieure de Cachan, 1999-03.