Professor David Upton

We regret to announce that Professor David Upton passed away a few days ago, quite suddenly and unexpectedly. David was the American Standard Companies Chair of Operations Management at Saïd Business School and a leading expert on the integration of information technology and operations management to provide competitive advantage.

David’s work spanned a wide variety of areas, including the implementation of IT systems, the adaptation of lean processes to knowledge systems, and the development of digital enterprises in rural areas. His work won the prestigious 2012 Shingo Prize for Research in Operational Excellence. His recent work, conducted with the Oxford Martin School, has been in the Cyber Security area. This important work included an Oxford-led multi-university collaboration, funded by the Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure, looking at the risks of insider cyber-attack, focussing on prevention, detection and education concerning this growing hazard for companies and their boards.

David joined Saïd Business School in 2010, having previously been Albert J Weatherhead III Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, where he was on the faculty from 1989-2009.  Previously he studied at Cambridge and earned his PhD in Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing at Purdue University. In addition to his responsibilities at Saïd Business School and his work at the Oxford Martin School, David was a member of the Governing Body of Christ Church.

May we ask that all letters and cards of condolence are sent to the Deanery (or by email to; or routed to the office of the Dean of the Saïd Business School, Professor Peter Tufano, c/o Kate Nilsson ( Please do not send messages or flowers to the Upton home.

A funeral service will be held on Wednesday 13th September, 2017 at 2.30pm in the cathedral for friends of David’s, family and colleagues. Tea will be served in Lee Building after the service. The burial will be on 14th September 2017 for close family.

The family kindly requests that no flowers are offered, although donations can be made to the John Radcliffe Hospital Charitable Fund.