Roy Richards

Roy Richards has more than forty years of experience leading and serving on boards of listed companies, family companies, NGOs, and industry associations.  For 17 years he was the CEO of his family’s manufacturing company (Southwire: $8+BUS revenues and 6500+ employees) and still chairs it today. He is the founder and board chair of three early stage environmental organizations.

He currently teaches both mature company and early-stage Corporate Governance at IE Business School in Europe, and teaches Responsible Corporate Governance at Georgia Tech in the US.  In the last ten years he has lectured or taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Yale University and executive education programs at IE Business School.

He is interested in early stage companies and believes they have much to teach mature companies, so he invests in and teaches about them. He also cares deeply about climate change and preservation of the natural world, and his philanthropic work is almost all focused there.

He teaches primarily from the standpoint of his own management experience and practice, connecting his own hard experience with that of other business leaders and writers. Mostly, he likes to talk about real world company challenges and how successful leaders deal with them.


• Southwire Company: Current Board Chair (1987 to present) and prior Chief Executive Officer (1987 to 2001). Southwire is North America’s largest manufacturer of electrical cable, with sales exceeding $8 billion in 2018, more than 6,500 employees, $200+ million in exports, and technology sales to more than 25 countries. The company was founded by my dad in 1950, and is now preparing for its third generation of family ownership. During nearly thirty years of my leadership as both CEO and chair, the company value has grown at a compounded annual rate of more than 12%. It is the leader in its field.

• Nuthatch LLC: Founder and President since 2007 of Nuthatch LLC, a social enterprise focused on land protection in the Southeastern USA. Nuthatch has 5,000+ acres under de-development and re-naturalization and finances high priority conservation transactions for land trusts and others.

• National Service Industries and Vista Resources (members NYSE), and Printpack (private company over $1Bn sales): Past Board Member (~1990 to ~2001).


• Adjunct Professor of Strategy, IE Business School, Madrid, Spain (since 2011). Previously taught the MBA elective Corporate Governance in Practice in ten sessions in Madrid. Since 2015 have been teaching two courses in the core MBA curriculum: New Company Governance (the governance of startup companies from very early stage to going concern), and Corporate Governance in Practice. Delivered the online course Women on Boards in Lagos in Fall 2016, and a similar course in Doha, Qatar in Spring 2017. Delivered course sessions on Governance to the executive education audiences in the Global Scale-up Program in Spring 2018 and Spring 2019. Consistently very highly rated in student surveys.

• UNC Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Queens University, and Yale University: Past teaching and lecturing to MBA, Exec Ed, and Undergraduate classes in subject areas including Corporate Governance, Leadership of Family Businesses, and Social Entrepreneurship. Guest instructor in the Yale SNOC Natural Capital in February 2016.

• Case Writing: Since 2011 have written eleven practical cases and essays for use in graduate business school curricula. Topics include family company governance, leadership succession, women on boards, and board effectiveness.


• Georgia Institute of Technology, USA: Mechanical Engineering 1981 (unfinished)

• Harvard Business School, USA: Advanced Management Program 1994

• Wharton & Harvard Business School, USA, late 1990’s: Various short courses on Finance and Management

• Georgia Institute of Technology: Outstanding Engineering Alumnus 1995

State University of West Georgia: Honorary Doctorate of Humanities 1996

Roy Richards
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