Jo Whitehead Ashridge Business School

Jo Whitehead Ashridge Business School

Jo Whitehead

Jo Whitehead


Jo Whitehead is a Director of Ashridge Strategic Management Centre. His research is in strategic decision making, business unit strategy, corporate strategy and the role of Chief Strategy officers and their departments. Jo’s other professional interests includes running and providing management programmes and consulting to client companies.

Before joining Ashridge, Jo was a Vice President and Director of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). He worked in the London, Los Angeles and Atlanta offices and acted as BCG’s Director of Energy Research and Marketing. Jo was also Assistant Professor at London Business School, where he taught primarily on Executive Education programmes.

Jo holds an MA from Cambridge University, an MBA with High Distinction from Harvard Business School and a PhD in Strategy and Organisation from London Business School where he is currently a Fellow of the Centre for Management Development. Jo co-authored the book Think Again – Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep it From Happening to You, (Harvard Business Press, 2009). He also authored What you need to know about Strategy and co-authored Strategy for the Corporate Level.


Making trade-offs in corporate portfolio decisions

Managers often want to own good businesses they shouldn’t buy – or hold onto businesses they should sell. Here’s how some companies have made these tough decisions.

Making trade-offs in corporate portfolio decisions, Andrew Campbell and Jo Whitehead. McKinsey on Finance. Number 51, Summer 2014. Perspectives on Corporate Finance and Strategy

Strategy for the Corporate Level

Almost all companies need a strategy at the corporate level that is in addition to the strategies for products or markets or business divisions. So this book is for any manager with responsibilities for multiple business divisions. It is also for any student, advisor or more junior manager who wants to understand the challenges that corporate managers face and how they make decisions.

Strategy for the Corporate Level: Where to Invest What to Cut Back How to Grow Organisations with Multiple Divisions. Andrew Campbell, Jo Whitehead, Marcus Alexander and Michael Goold, ISBN: 978-1-118-81837-4, 416 pages, April 2014, Jossey-Bass

How to avoid making bad decisions

Effective business executives are still capable of making flawed decisions which can damage their organisation. Jo Whitehead and Andrew Campbell look at the issues and suggest ways in which these can be addressed.

Whitehead, J. & Campbell, A. ICAEW.Com, Decision Making Special Report, June 2012.

Developing your Strategic Capability

A common challenge for up and coming executives is the need to broaden their skills in strategy. On the plus side, these executives are often highly experienced and have a strong intuitive understanding of certain strategic issues. However, they often lack confidence in how to participate in and lead strategic discussions. Available at: IEDP

Whitehead, J (2012) “Developing Your Strategic Capability”. IEDP, May.