In 1986, Bill founded San Francisco-based H.W.Jesse&Co, later known as Jesse.Hansen&Co., a consumer focused investment and advisory firm where he served as Chairman & CEO until 1998 and then as Chairman until 2004.
Bill has served on over 20 boards during his career as an investor and advisor and currently serves on the boards of Armor Express, Swensons Drive-In Restaurants and BuDhaGirl. Notable investments include Peet’s Coffee & Tea (1996-2008), where he served as an investor, board member and Chairman, and The Wine Group (TWG), where Bill served as a board member since the company’s inception in 1981, including service as its Chairman (2012-2015). Bill has helped guide the success of numerous other consumer companies and has served on the boards of Specialized Bicycle, Aidells Sausage, Smith Sport Optics, Western Athletic Clubs, Stanislaus Foods and WIRED.
Bill has more than 15 years of operating experience that includes serving as CEO of American Hawaii Cruises, VP of The Getz Corporation heading Global Business Development as well as Operations in Europe and Africa, CEO of The Delta Queen Steamboat Co., VP Operations of The Coca Cola Bottling Company of New York and GM of the Mediterranean/MidEast Division of Prudential Lines.
Bill is the author of several case studies that have been taught at Harvard Business School and other universities. He is also a past Chairman of the Northern California Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization. Bill graduated from Lehigh University with a BS magna cum laude with dual majors in Economic Statistics and Finance and a minor in English as well as an MS in Operations Research. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School. Bill enjoys saltwater, reading, design, great food, wine and traveling. He and his wife Jessica (that’s right, Jessica Jesse) have visited 65 different airports together.
His super power: Analysis.