Fons is known all over the world for his work as consultant, trainer, motivational speaker and author of many books on the subject of culture and business. He has spent over 25 years helping Fortune 500 leaders and professionals manage and solve their business and cultural dilemmas to increase global effectiveness and performance, particularly in the areas of globalisation, mergers and acquisition, HR and leadership development.
Fons studied Economics at the Free University of Amsterdam and later earned a PhD from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, with a dissertation on differences in conceptions of organisational structure in various cultures. He experienced cultural differences first hand at home, where he grew up speaking both French and Dutch, and then later at work with Shell in nine countries.
Fons joined Shell in 1981 and moved into the Personnel Division for Shell in Rotterdam. From 1985, he worked in job classification and management development at the Shell Research Laboratories in Amsterdam. In 1989 he founded the Centre for International Business Studies, a consulting and training organisation for international management. Since its acquisition in 1998 by KPMG, his company has operated as Trompenaars Hampden-Turner with Fons himself becoming a Partner in the firm.
Fons has worked as a consultant for Shell, BP, ICI, Philips, Heineken, TRW, Mars, Motorola, General Motors, Nike, Cable and Wireless, CSM and Merrill Lynch. In 2013, Fons was ranked 41st in the Thinkers50, the definitive listing of the world's top 50 business thinkers.