William E. Ford (born June 18, 1961) is an American businessman. He is the CEO of General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm with $17.4 billion in assets as of December 31, 2014. The former Morgan Stanley investment banker was ranked by Forbes magazine at #5 on the "Midas List" in 2009. He lives in New York City.
Career and education
Ford has been the Chief Executive Officer of General Atlantic, a leading growth equity firm, since his appointment in 2007. Under his direction the firm’s assets under management have increased from roughly $12.8 billion in 2007 to $17.4 billion by the end of 2014. During his tenure as CEO, the firm has also continued its global expansion by opening new offices in Singapore, Beijing, and Mexico City and has expanded its sector coverage through the launch of the global Retail & Consumer sector team.
Ford joined General Atlantic in 1991, having worked at Morgan Stanley & Co. as an investment banker. Ford was instrumental in General Atlantic’s 2003 investment in Archipelago Holdings, which the firm sold to the New York Stock Exchange in 2006 for a return of 5.5 times the initial investment. Ford has personally led a number of successful investments during his tenure as CEO of General Atlantic, including First Republic Bank (2010), NYMEX Holdings (2006), Priceline.com (1998), and E-Trade (1997).
He serves on the boards of several General Atlantic portfolio companies including luxury lifestyle brand Tory Burch, investment firm Oak Hill Advisors, European digital publishing house Axel Springer, and IHS Markit, a global provider of independent financial data, tools, and infrastructure. He is also on the Advisory Board of TBG Limited. He has been a director of prior General Atlantic portfolio companies including First Republic Bank, NYSE Euronext, E*TRADE, Priceline, NYMEX, and Zagat Survey..
Ford received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1987 and his B.A. in Economics from Amherst College in 1983.
Philanthropy and public positions
Ford serves as Vice Chairman of The Rockefeller University, and serves on the board of trustees of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Lincoln Center, and the New York Genome Center. He also serves on the executive committee of the Partnership for New York City, on the board of directors of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ford serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Advisors of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and on the Advisory Board of Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management. He served as a trustee of Amherst College from 2001-2013 and chairs the college’s Investment Committee.
Ford has been interviewed by several publications such as Bloomberg, the Financial Times, Fortune Magazine, American Banker, The Economic Times, British American Business, Forbes, Expansion, Private Equity International, the "Silicon Valley Business Journal, and LEADERS Magazine.
Corporate board memberships
- Tory Burch
- Oak Hill Advisors
- IHS Markit
- Axel Springer
- TBG Limited
- First Republic Bank
- NYSE Euronext
- Zagat Survey