Robert Smelick
2011 Robert A. Fox Executive-in-Residence, 2014 Visiting Faculty

Managing Partner and CEOHeadland Ventures, San Francisco, Calif.

Adjunct faculty at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia. Visiting lecturer at University of Washington; Harvard University; Georgetown University; the University of San Francisco; Duke University; and the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.

Served on the boards of several private and public companies, including Kaiser Steel, Willamette Industries, King Broadcasting and The Wine Group (one of the world’s largest wine companies)

Course Taught

Leadership, Innovation and Enterprise Culture


MBA, Harvard Business School

B.A, Economics, Stanford University

Fast Facts

  • More than 30 years of experience as an investment banker: managing principal of his own firm, Sterling Payot Company; managing director of First Boston and head of its West Coast Investment Banking Group; partner at Kidder, Peabody & Co, New York and San Francisco
  • His personal relationships have allowed him to conduct candid, unscripted video interviews with more than 100 executives of important growth companies in a wide variety of industries
  • The core cases in his course, Leadership, Innovation and Enterprise Culture, include Genentech, The Wine Group, Nordstrom, Pacific Telesis/AirTouch, Willamette Industries, Wired Ventures, Metricom and Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream