Peter Todd stepped down from his job as dean of HEC Paris in October of 2020 to focus on his recovery from a benign brain tumor. But today (Jan. 10), Todd has resurfaced fully recovered to become dean of Imperial College Business School in London.
It will be Todd’s third deanship after serving in that role for nine years at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University in Canada and for five years at HEC Paris which he joined in July of 2015. the 61-year-old Todd, currently in Canada, will take on his new duties at Imperial on September 1 for an initial term of five years.
The appointment comes as three other major European business schools are in the midst of searches for new leadership: London Business School, the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School, and Switzerland-based IMD, which is searching for a new president.
Tood succeeds interim Dean Franklin Allen who took over Imperial’s business school after Francisco Veloso left the deanship last September to become dean of INSEAD. In taking on Imperial, Todd will lead a school whose MBA program is ranked 37th in the world by the Financial Times, 20 places below the 17th rank accorded HEC Paris. The FT ranking puts Imperial in fourth place in the U.K., behind only London Business School, the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.
‘THRILLED TO JOIN IMPERIAL COLLEGE BUSINESS SCHOOL’
“I am thrilled to be joining Imperial College Business School,” says Todd in a statement. “Imperial is an exceptional global institution with an unsurpassed reputation for research excellence and a unique entrepreneurial spirit. I am particularly drawn to the determination of the university and its Business School to tackle big questions to foster a healthy, smart, sustainable and resilient society through innovative and entrepreneurial approaches that bridge business with science, engineering, and medicine. “
“The big questions for business are the big questions facing society. Climate and sustainability, health and wellness, AI and autonomous technology, income inequality, diversity and inclusion, and building resilient societies. In this regard, business research and teaching need to bring a broader lens. The answers to these questions will only be found by working across boundaries, bringing together experts in business, with science, engineering, and medicine. Imperial and its Business School are uniquely positioned to tackle such issues in 2024 and beyond.”
In addition to his experience as a dean of two prominent business schools, Todd also brings a track record of university fundraising, having been instrumental in obtaining faculty naming gifts at both the University of Houston and McGill. While at HEC Paris, he oversaw the launch of a major €200 million fundraising campaign for the business school. His academic expertise lies in information technology and innovation management, spanning computer science, psychology, and management. “His research brings these different disciplines together to examine how people interact with technology,” according to the statement on his appointment.
‘A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE’
Todd will take over a school that has made significant progress in recent years in gaining a more global profile. Imperial’s MBA ranking has steadily climbed in the past ten years to place 17th in the latest Poets&Quants’ ranking of the best international programs from a rank of 30th in 2014. The school’s strategic priorities include sustainability and social responsibility, entrepreneurship, digital transformation, health innovation, and the future of finance. Imperial has just launched a new MSc in global health management and an IDEA Lab to pioneer digital learning experiences.
Imperial College London Provost Ian Walmsley touted Todd’s earlier deanships in the announcement. “Peter brings a wealth of experience of leading globally oriented, internationally prominent business schools in Europe and North America,” he says in the statement. ” He is the ideal person to lead Imperial College Business School into its next era. His international outlook, academic reputation and understanding of high-profile business schools will greatly enhance the Business School’s ambitions to capitalise on its position within the university. I would like to thank Professor Franklin Allen for his outstanding leadership of Imperial College Business School since last September.”
Born in Burnaby, Canada, Todd began his academic career after earning his Ph.D. in business administration and management from the University of British Columbia in 1988. He joined Queen’s University as an assistant professor and spent eight years at the school. Todd then joined the University of Houston first as a professor in 1997 before becoming an associate dean for academics two years later. In 2002, he moved to the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia to be vice dean of the undergraduate school’s master’s programs. He left after three years to take the deanship at McGill.
After joining HEC Paris in July of 2015 as the first non-French director general and dean of the school, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in mid-2019 but continued to fulfill his duties as dean for another 18 months. “It had been my intention to see this year to its end but I find that I am not able to do so, certainly not at the level that I expect of myself and that you have every right to expect from your Dean,” wrote Todd in an email to his colleagues in October of 2020. While Todd then said the tumor was benign, and his prospects for a full recovery is good, he and his wife, Connie, decided it would be best for his health not to carry on his duties as dean.
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