David M. Dodson

David M. Dodson
Lecturer
Contact Info
DavidM.Dodson
Lecturer in Management

Research Statement

David Dodson's area of research includes entrepreneurial acquisition, whereby one searches for, and acquires, a company that they intend to be the principal manager for; management issues around growing enterprises, small and medium sized acquired companies, and early stage enterprises.

Bio

David Dodson teaches S355, “Managing Growing Enterprises”, S555 “Managing Growing Enterprises” S543, and “Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition”. Mr. Dodson is a graduate of Stanford University (Economics ’83, MBA ‘87), and a former case writer (1988).

David Dodson has been active for twenty-five years in the formation of new businesses through entrepreneurial acquisition. Prior to entering the GSB, Dodson worked at McKinsey & Company, where he worked for clients in the oil field services, gas pipeline, liquefied natural gas, and offshore drilling. After graduating from the GSB, under the direction of Professor Irv Grousbeck, he wrote the original course material for search funds—then in its infancy. After one year as a case writer, David Dodson raised his own search fund.

Between 1990 and 2004, Dodson operated as CEO or Executive Chairman of five companies, including co-founding Wind River Environmental, the largest specialty trucking company of its kind, ADAP, Inc., an auto parts retailer that was eventually sold to Auto Zone, Smith Alarm Systems, Inc., Paragon Systems, Inc., and Worldbridge Broadband Services Inc, which was eventually sold to C-Corp

Dodson has been an active mentor and investor in over fifty early stage companies, and has been on the board of directors of over a dozen companies, including Asurion, LLC, an insurance company with over 15,000 employees operating in 14 countries.

Dodson has been active with the creation of market-based solutions to problems related to health and education, with an emphasis on approaches that reduce dependency on charity and instead use the free-market system for sustainable solutions that end the cycle of dependence on charity or government support.

Dodson co-founded Project Healthy Children with Stephanie Cornell in 1999 to address issues of micronutrient deficiency among mothers and children without access to healthy and nutritious foods. Project Healthy Children focused on sustainable solutions to malnutrition. Project Healthy Children estimates that its programs reach over 25 million children and adults throughout the world.

Dodson also co-founded Sanku, LLC—which in collaboration with Stanford University and Project Healthy Children invented a gravimetric device that accurately fortifies wheat flour in small rural mills, reaching the “poorest of the poor” using a market-based approach to sustainable solutions to malnutrition. The Sanku device is the only machine of its kind in the world, and Sanku hopes to reach 100 million people by 2025.

David Dodson is a resident of Wyoming and has three daughters: Caroline, Hannah, and Rachel.

Academic Degrees

  • MBA, Stanford GSB, 1987
  • BA in Economics, Stanford University, 1983

Awards and Honors

  • MBA Class of 1973 Lecturer for 2015-2016

Publications

Book Chapters

David M. Dodson, Laura A. Rowe. Innovating for Healthy Urbanization. New York: Springer US, 2015, Pages 41-76.

Teaching

Degree Courses

2017-18

This course is offered for students who, in the near term, aspire to the management and full or partial ownership of a new or newly-acquired business. The seminar, which is limited to 45 students, has a strong implementation focus, and deals in...

For aspiring entrepreneurs who don't have a burning idea or desire to start a company from scratch, acquiring a small business can provide a direct route to running and growing a business. This class will explore entrepreneurial acquisition (EA...

2016-17

This course is offered for students who, in the near term, aspire to the management and full or partial ownership of a new or newly-acquired business. The seminar, which is limited to 45 students, has a strong implementation focus, and deals in...

For aspiring entrepreneurs who don't have a burning idea or desire to start a company from scratch, acquiring a small business can provide a direct route to running and growing a business. This class will explore entrepreneurial acquisition (EA...

Stanford Case Studies

Leila Janah | SM291
David Dodson, Cameron Lehman2018
Jennifer Dulski (B) | E606B
David Dodson, Matt Saucedo2017
A Note on Getting the Most Out of Your Board Meetings | E631
David Dodson, Susan Pohlmeyer2017
Evergreen Solutions | E537
David Dodson, Sara Rosenthal2017
Guide to Managing Your First 100 Days as CEO | E629
David Dodson, Susan Pohlmeyer2017
Jennifer Dulski (A) | E606A
David Dodson, Matt Saucedo2017
Paul English | E620
David Dodson, Ryan Kissick2017
2016 Search Fund Study: Selected Observations | E605
Peter Kelly, David Dodson, H. Irving Grousbeck, Susan Pohlmeyer, Sara Rosenthal2016
Debbie Sterling | E591
David Dodson, Matthew Saucedo2016
Laura Melton | E559
David Dodson, Ryan Kissick2016
Sitara | E585
David Dodson, Jessica Morgan2016
AlphaCredit | E536
David Dodson, Ryan Kissick2015
Headwaters MB | E552
David Dodson, Sara Rosenthal2015
Rick Kaden & Gloria Chen | E561
David Dodson, Jessica Morgan2015
Torani | E577
David Dodson, Sara Rosenthal2015
Year Up | E545
David Dodson, Ryan Kissick2015
Zintro, Inc. - Hiring a Management Team | E566
David Dodson2015
Eyewitness Surveillance | E523
David Dodson2014
Professor Dodson | E448
David Miller Dodson2014
Search Funds - 2013: Selected Observations | E521
David Dodson, Peter Kelly, H. Irving Grousbeck, Jason Luther, Sara Rosenthal2014
Black Iris Systems | E492
David Dodson2013
Donatella, LLC | E493
David Dodson2013
Nashton Partners | E422
David Dodson, Jocelyn Hornblower2011
Kirk Riedinger and Jamie Turner | SB102
Harold Grousbeck, David Dodson1987

Stanford University Affiliations

Insights by Stanford Business

December 3, 2015
A serial board member explains why even young companies need strong directors.

School News

June 1, 2016
Accounting professors Elizabeth Blankespoor and Ed deHaan, and Marketing Professor Harikesh Nair have been recognized by students for exceptional teaching.