Mike Wright

Mike Wright, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Imperial College Business School and world-renowned academic, has died following a short illness.

A respected scholar, Mike was the Director of the Centre for Management Buy-Out Research. The first centre devoted to the study of private equity and buyouts, it was founded in 1986 at the Nottingham University Business School before moving to Imperial College Business School with Mike when he joined in 2011.

He was one of the School’s most prominent academics and received no shortage of recognition for his professional success, including coveted honours such as being made a Fellow of both the British Academy and the Strategic Management Society.

Mike joined Imperial College Business School as Professor of Entrepreneurship before becoming Head of the Department for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Previously he was Professor of Financial Studies at Nottingham University Business School.

"Mike was supportive to his academics and professional staff throughout his time at the Business School despite being one of our research superstars."Jo DemetrisHR Partner, Business School

He was known for publishing at an exceptionally high rate, writing over 40 books and publishing more than 300 papers in academic and professional journals on topics including management buyouts, venture capital, habitual entrepreneurs and academic entrepreneurs. It should come as no surprise then that Mike was ranked first in the world for publications in academic entrepreneurship.

He served two terms as an editor of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, was a joint editor of the Journal of Management Studies, editor elect of the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, and editor of the Academy of Management Perspective.

In addition to his respected position at Imperial College Business School, he held an honorary doctorate from the University of Ghent, was a visiting professor at ETH Zurich and INSEAD, and a member of the BVCA Advisory Board, providing guidance and advice to the private equity industry.

He combined these formidable achievements in the world of academia with warmth, humour and kindness, as well as a variety of passions that extended beyond the world of business and private equity.

These included a well-known enthusiasm for the music of Bob Dylan, as well as bird watching, gardening and reading.

He also had a passion for France and all things French, as well as for cycling, and on his 60th birthday he combined the two, travelling 600km from Central France to the Pyrenees on his bike.

Born in 1952 in Stockport, he grew up in Derbyshire, a county which he was devoted to throughout his life – particularly the Peak District where he enjoyed walking.

He always had ongoing projects, both for work and for pleasure. He loved family life and since his grandson was born in 2016, he delighted in finding new activities to entertain him.

Mike died peacefully on 25 November 2019, at home with his wife and family.

Tributes paid to Mike by his colleagues at Imperial College Business School

Francisco Veloso, Dean of Imperial College Business School

Mike was a leading international academic and a pillar of the School for many years. We are deeply grateful for his outstanding contribution as a faculty member and a colleague. We will also remember and very much miss his kindness, wisdom and humour.

Markus Perkmann, Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Mike Wright was one of the most influential entrepreneurship scholars of our time. He shaped important debates in the field with both his research contributions and his editorial work. Over the years, he was also a mentor to a large number of junior scholars who benefited from his intellectual breadth and academic experience. At Imperial, he was highly regarded as the Head of the Department of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and for being an extraordinarily productive academic who always impressed with his humility and work ethic. His achievements were recognised with numerous awards, and most notably his nomination to Fellow of the British Academy.

Rod Ball, Deputy Director Centre for Management Buy-out Research (CMBOR)

I was always surprised by Mike’s energy and drive in both his own academic quests and those of CMBOR. I still remember my first business meeting with him in London, as we reached King’s Cross I was still trying to get my footing on the escalator, wondering where he was, only to see him powering his way past people already halfway up towards the top. Mike started CMBOR as a young academic when private equity was in its infancy and little understood. He often cited the story of how, when he had first voiced his idea of researching private equity, fellow academics had warned him there would be no interest as the market was far too small. By 2007, a record of over €180 billion had been invested in European private equity and his enthusiasm had been fully vindicated.

Karen Tweddle, Assistant Director Education Quality

I worked alongside Mike for eight years during his time at Imperial College Business School. He was a quiet, warm and friendly man and I enjoyed spending time with him. He was a prolific publisher, which made my job, logging his publications, a time-consuming one but extremely rewarding from a rankings/accreditations point of view. He had no ego despite his success, and he will be much missed.

Jo Demetris, HR Partner

Mike was a truly lovely colleague to work with and I will miss him. Mike was supportive to his academics and professional staff throughout his time at the Business School despite being one of our research superstars. His naturally friendly nature made working together fun with discussions around walking in the Peaks and the newfound fun in trying to work on research whilst looking after his grandson.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page