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Robert L. Joss

Professor and Dean Emeritus, Finance
RobertL.Joss
Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean, Emeritus
Academic Area: 
Finance

Research Statement

Robert Joss has been a long-time student and practitioner of general management and organizational leadership. His interests and work lead him to explore such issues as (a) what makes managers and leaders effective, (b) how can people be developed to be good managers and leaders, and (c) what causes people to succeed or fail in these important roles.

Bio

A leader in global banking, a former U.S. Treasury Department official, and a Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA (’67) and PhD (’70), Robert Joss became the eighth dean of the Business School in 1999. He served as dean for 10 years–overseeing the introduction of a new MBA curriculum, the institution of new collaborations between the school and Stanford University, and the construction of a new Business School campus which opened in 2011.

Joss has observed that ideas, capital, and technology move freely across borders around the world, but that there is a significant lack of management skill. As dean he drew on both his academic and business experience to address this issue through education. He has a strong belief in experiential learning, leadership development, and academic research that constantly tests the boundaries of what we know about organizational effectiveness. He continues to teach leadership and management in the school’s MBA curriculum.

Prior to joining the Business School as dean, Joss was chief executive officer of Westpac Banking Corporation, one of Australia’s largest banks, a post he held for six years. At Westpac, he was credited with refocusing the bank strategically, modernizing operations, and building a culture of teamwork, customer focus, open communication, and community support. Bank shareholders also benefited substantially during and after his tenure.

Before going to Australia, Joss held a variety of posts at San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank between 1971 and 1993, serving from 1986 onward as vice chairman. Prior to Wells Fargo, Joss worked 3 years at the U. S. Treasury, first as a White House Fellow and then as deputy to the assistant secretary for economic policy.

He is currently a director of Bechtel Group, Makena Capital Management, SRI International and CM Capital; was formerly a director of Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co, Westpac Banking Corp, and Shanghai Commercial Bank Ltd.; and is active in Australian-American affairs, serving as Co-chair of the Advisory Board for the U.S. Studies Center at Sydney University and is a member of the U.S. Advisory Council for the American Australian Association. In 2001 he received the Centenary Medal for service to Australian society, and in 2013 was named by the Australian Financial Review as one of the 50 figures who have most shaped the nation’s business landscape over the preceding half century.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Stanford University, 1970
  • MBA, Stanford University, 1967
  • Sloan Fellow, Stanford University, 1966
  • BA (magna cum laude) University of Washington, 1963

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford University since 1999

Professional Experience

  • CEO and Managing Director, Westpac Banking Corporation, 1993-1999
  • Vice Chairman, Wells Fargo Bank, 1986-1993
  • Executive Vice President, Wells Fargo Bank, 1981-1986
  • Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo Bank, 1975-1981
  • Vice President, Wells Fargo Bank, 1972-1975
  • Assistant Vice President, Wells Fargo Bank, 1971-1972
  • Deputy to Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, U.S. Treasury Department, 1968-1971
  • White House Fellow, The White House, 1968-1969

Awards and Honors

  • Honorary Doctor in Business, Konkuk University - William F. Miller School of Management, Korea, 2009
  • Centenary Medal, Commonwealth of Australia, 2001
  • Meritorious Service Award, U.S. Treasury Department, 1971
  • White House Fellow, The White House, 1968
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1963

Publications

Journal Articles

Robert L. Joss. The Deal. October 17, 2008, Vol. 1, Issue 1.
Robert L. Joss. Australian Journal of Management. August 2001, Vol. 26.
Murray Weidenbaum, Robert L. Joss. National Tax Journal. 1970, Vol. 23, Issue 1, Pages 2-22.

Courses Taught

Degree Courses

2014-15

This seminar will explore the nature and role of leadership in organizations. We will examine such questions as (1) What is leadership? (2) Why is it important? (3) What is it that leaders actually do? (4) How do they do it? (5) How are leaders...

2013-14

This seminar will explore the nature and role of leadership in organizations. We will examine such questions as (1) What is leadership? (2) Why is it important? (3) What is it that leaders actually do? (4) How do they do it? (5) How are leaders...

2012-13

In the Managerial Skills Labs we examine several common managerial challenges faced by executives. Together with Faculty, students explore these topics using four case examples, each asking students to evaluate a series of situations, develop...

2011-12

This seminar will explore the nature and role of leadership in organizations. We will examine such questions as (1) What is leadership? (2) Why is it important? (3) What is it that leaders actually do? (4) How do they do it? (5) How are leaders...

In the Leadership Labs class we ask you to consider the question, "Why would someone follow YOU?" This is a course in which you consider what kind of leader you want to be, what kind of leader you are, and how to align your leadership behavior...

Stanford Case Studies

Service to the Profession

Director

  • Bechtel Group, 2009-present
  • Citigroup, 2009-2013
  • Makena Capital, 2006-present
  • SRI, 2013-present
  • Agilent Technologies Inc., 2002-2010

In the Media

Financial Times, June 11, 2009
How Can Leaders Inspire People in Difficult Times?
Journal of High Tech HR Forums, January 2009
On the Record: Robert Joss
US New & World Report, October 24, 2006
Silicon Valley Business Journal, March 28, 2005
View from the Top: Former GE CEO Jack Welch in Conversation with Dean Joss
Commonwealth Club audio, January 2005
Boston Globe, December 7, 2004
Your Career Matters: Business Schools Expand MBAs for Executives
Wall Street Journal, January 2003
Dean's Corner
AACSB eNewsline, January 2003
Sydney Morning Herald, August 13, 2002
The Economist, February 28, 2002
The Economist, February 28, 2002
School Seeks to Lead the Field in Leadership
Financial Times, January 2002
Bloomberg Businessweek, November 19, 2001
Where Small is Beautiful
Financial Times, January 2001
Wells Fargo Press Release, October 28, 1999
BusinessWeek, May 15, 1999