Robert L. Joss

Professor and Dean Emeritus, Finance
+1 (650) 723-3951

Robert L. Joss

The Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean, Emeritus

Academic Area:

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.


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. He continues to teach leadership and management in the school’s MBA curriculum, and is co-director of the Stanford Leadership Academy, a program for development of the University’s faculty and staff leaders.

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. 

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 Makena Capital Management and CM Capital; was formerly a director of Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co, Westpac Banking Corp, Shanghai Commercial Bank Ltd., Social Finance, Inc., Agilent Technologies, Inc., and Bechtel Group; and is active in Australian-American affairs. In 2013 was named by the Australian Financial Review as one of the 50 figures who most shaped the nation’s business landscape over the preceding half century. In 2016 he received the Companion of the Order of Australia, the highest national citizen honor, in recognition of his service to Australia’s business, financial, and academic sectors.

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

  • Companion of the Order of Australia, 2016
  • Ernest C. Arbuckle Award, Stanford GSB Alumni Association, 2012
  • 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


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