Joel Peterson

Professor of Management
Chairman of JetBlue Airways

Joel Peterson is the Chairman of JetBlue Airways, which was founded in 1999 and is now the fifth largest commercial airline in the United States. He is the Robert L. Joss Consulting Professor of Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he has served on the faculty since 1992, teaching courses in leadership, entrepreneurship, and real estate. A 2005 recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, he also serves as a Director at Stanford’s Center for Leadership Development and Research, as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Group, and as an Overseer at the Hoover Institution.

In addition, Peterson is chairman of the investment firm he founded in 1995, Peterson Partners, which focuses on providing growth and buyout capital to businesses with strong management teams and a track record of success. He formerly served as Managing Partner, CFO, and CEO of Trammell Crow Company, the world’s largest private real estate development firm, where he was employed for nearly 20 years.

Throughout his distinguished career, Peterson has continually cultivated, called upon, and benefited from high-trust relationships. In his new book, THE 10 LAWS OF TRUST: Building the Bonds That Make a Business Great, he lays out attitudes and behaviors for developing a high-trust organization. “Investing in trust works to create abundance and is far superior to hoarding power, harboring suspicions, or barricading oneself behind gotcha controls,” he attests. “The satisfaction that derives from collaboration, the innovation that flows from interdependent teams, the joy that springs from knowing you can trust those with whom you work—all are well worth the effort required to understand the nature of trust and to internalize and live by its laws.”         

Over the past 35 years, Peterson has served on dozens of public and private boards, including Asurion; Franklin Covey; Ladder Capital Finance, a billion-dollar real estate investment company; and Bonobos, a New York based apparel start-up. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, where he was valedictorian and student body president.Joel Peterson is the father of seven children and a grandfather to more than a dozen.He makes his home in Salt Lake City, Utah, with Diana, his trusted partner for 44 years.