About John Wells
Dr. John Wells is Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School. He teaches many courses on strategy innovation and change in the MBA and Executive Development programs, including his own courses on Strategic IQ.
Dr. Wells graduated with a double first in physics from Oxford University, specializing in nuclear and solid state. He received his MBA and DBA from the Harvard Business School, where he was a George F Baker Scholar, graduating first his class, and a Dean’s Doctoral Fellow.
Dr. Wells has combined a career in academia with extensive business experience as an advisor, a line manager, a CEO and an entrepreneur. In strategy consulting, he worked first with Boston Consulting Group and then as Managing Director of Monitor Company Europe, a subsidiary of the firm he created with Michael Porter and Mark Fuller.
In 1994, Dr. Wells joined PepsiCo, initially as CFO of the European snacks division, and then as CEO of Wedel, a PepsiCo affiliate and Poland’s number one chocolate, biscuits, confectionery and snacks producer. He was then appointed CFO of Frito-Lay International, based in Dallas, Texas, with responsibility for all international snack operations. Following PepsiCo, Dr. Wells joined the executive board of Thomson Travel Group, the UK’s largest holiday company, responsible for the Group’s strategy, mergers and acquisitions and e-commerce development.
Dr. Wells invests in and advises a number of start-ups, and in early 2002, joined Archie Norman, the ex-Chairman of ASDA in the UK, in a $1.3 billion management buy-in of Energis, the UK’s third largest telecommunications service provider.
In 2008 Dr. Wells was appointed the President of IMD (International Institute for Management Development), a leading global business school based in Switzerland. In 2011, he returned to Harvard Business School as a Professor of Management Practice.
Dr. Wells has written over 50 cases on strategy and innovation and speaks regularly on the subject around the world. His work on strategic IQ focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of strategic failure, structural impediments to change, and human inertia. His wide ranging interests include strategic business model innovation, social strategy, responsible leadership, relevant learning and family capitalism.