Start HBS

Joel Peterson - JetBlue, Peterson Partners

Start HBS
Joel Peterson - JetBlue, Peterson Partners

In today’s episode, we speak with Joel Peterson, current chairman of JetBlue and Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Joel’s career got a big boost from being the CEO and CFO of the world’s largest real estate development company, after which he left to start a private equity firm.

Tune in to hear us discuss Joel’s experiences working as the chairman of JetBlue and how his career path has been quite serendipitous.


  • A moment in his career where forgiveness played a large part
  • Early on, Joel thought you could use “spin” to get out of anything
  • Why keeping someone on when they’re not working out can be detrimental
  • How he became the CFO of a private equity firm
  • The terrible end to his tenure at the private equity firm
  • Why Joel thinks he is offered leadership positions
  • The importance of building trust in business
  • Which world leader is Joel’s role model


“Early on in my career... I learned that you can’t talk your way out of problems you behaved your way into.”

“This was a $750 Million decision for a little start-up airline, so we knew we had to get this terminal right.”

“It would be hard to run a business without people trusting you.” 




Brought to you by HBS Entrepreneurship Club of Start HBS