Our Experts

Professor Emeritus Ernesto J. Poza

Professor of Global Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise at Thunderbird’s School of Global Management

Professor Emeritus Poza (BS Yale University; MBA, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is an internationally recognized, top-rated speaker and consultant to family-controlled and family-owned businesses. He is Professor Emeritus of Global Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise at Thunderbird’s School of Global Management. As a speaker, consultant and board member he challenges business owners to revitalize mature businesses through strategic thinking, succession planning and change management. His work on governance, the key role of nonfamily management and succession has been featured on CNN, NBC, and NPR, as well as in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week, Family Business Magazine, Inc., El Pais, Excelsior, Expansion, and El Nuevo Día. Poza has served on the editorial boards of the Family Business Review and the Journal of Family Business Strategy.

Professor Emeritus Poza has advised top managements of family-owned and family-controlled companies in strategic management, succession planning, growth and governance. Among the firms served in the U.S., Latin America and Europe are: Chiquita Brands, E. W. Scripps Company, Gonzalez Byass, S.A., Catalana de Occidente, and Almirall (wine, insurance and pharmaceuticals respectively, Spain). Also Grupo Alfa and Grupo Femsa (conglomerates, Mexico), El Nuevo Día (news media, Puerto Rico), Huber & Co, Mars Inc., Scripps Media and Simpson Investments in the U.S. Poza has also consulted with substantial family offices and smaller, yet equally wonderful, privately-held family firms and family offices in their efforts to keep the business successful and the family united during the often turbulent generational transition period.

In recognition of his contribution to the field of family business, the Family Firm Institute awarded him the third ever granted Richard Beckhard Practice Award in 1996 and its highly coveted International Award in 2010. His research interests are in the areas of family business continuity, global growth opportunities, family business governance, and leadership of change, family offices and family entrepreneurship. Poza is the author of Governing Family Enterprises (2014, Palgrave Macmillan), Family Business, 4th edition, (2014, South-Western/Cengage Publishing), Empresas Familiares (2005, International Thomson Ed.), Family Business (2004, Thomson Publishing), and Smart Growth: Critical Choices for Continuity and Prosperity (1989). He has also authored Family Governance, a Credit Suisse Private Bank White Paper, and 20 other journal articles.

He is a founding member and Fellow of the Family Firm Institute and serves on the boards of several family-controlled corporations. He lives with his wife in Scottsdale, Arizona.