Executive Transition Program

Executive Transition Program

Succeed in the transition to general management responsibility

The Executive Transition Program (ETP) is a modular three week general management program designed for experienced, functional managers who have recently moved, or are about to move, into positions with more general management responsibilities.

The ETP delivers an integrative understanding of management insights, that is, the tools, skills, and attitudes participants will need to achieve greater levels of success and competence as managers. They will return to their company with the broad strategic understanding necessary to seize business opportunities for long-term success. The course’s three modules have been custom-designed to support mid- to senior-level managers in:

  • Developing an in-depth understanding of the core managerial competencies required to manage across functions
  • Mastering the general management perspectives and capabilities necessary to lead new business development or existing business transformation, including the interaction of business and politics
  • Evaluating, defining, and adopting the role of a responsible leader capable of collaborating with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders

Acquire the latest management best practices – Grounded in the European humanist tradition

The program’s design and philosophy are inspired by the principles and ideals of the Enlightenment of Continental Europe. Participants will draw on this tradition to:

  • Engage in candid dialog supported by rational and critical thinking
  • Embrace an open attitude toward people from diverse cultural, educational, professional, religious, and functional backgrounds
  • Adopt technological and scientific discoveries and innovations


Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Management

Having completed the ETP you will receive the ESMT Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Management, a prestigious recognition of your professional development.

Scholarship Opportunities

To increase the number of female executives, ESMT awards 2 full-tuition scholarships and two ESMT/30% Club partial scholarships (value €9,950) for women in leadership positions.
Exceptionally qualified and talented candidates might be eligible for the scholarships. Please get in contact with the ETP Program Director Urs Müller.

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Target audience

Target audience

Participants are professionals in their thirties or forties with a proven track record in their business from any educational background. They are leading a business unit or a regional subsidiary; in charge of a new product, market, or major project initiative. Typically employed by large groups operating globally or regionally, participants are confident in their Englishspeaking capabilities.

Key topics

Key topics

The ETP offers a unique combination of residential modules with inter-modular activities. Spread over nine months, this intense learning experience will provide the powerful set of tools participants need to make the leap from a functional role to general management.

  • Module 1: Core Managerial Competences
  • Module 2: General Management Perspectives
  • Module 3: Integrative Leadership in Action
Take-home value

Take-home value

Custom-designed for the emerging general manager.

  • Module 1 Core Managerial Competences: Master the core competences necessary to manage across all functions, particularly those where on-the-job experience is thin.
  • Module 2 General Management Perspectives: Learn the general management perspectives and abilities required to lead new business development and existing business turnaround across functions.
  • Module 3 Integrative Leadership in Action: Develop a broader sense of responsibility. Learn to lead yourself, teams, and organizations while striving for exceptional business performance.
Meet the faculty

Meet the faculty

Urs Müller (Program director)

Head of the Practice Group Consumer Goods and Retail, ESMT

Urs Müller's areas of expertise include strategy, change management, ethics, and intercultural management. Before coming to ESMT, he was a consultant for A.T. Kearney and taught at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany, at the Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika in Torun, Poland, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.

Zoltán Antal-Mokos

Professor of Strategy Dean of Degree Programs, ESMT

Zoltán Antal-Mokos has been a full professor (of strategy) and ESMT's first associate dean of degree programs since November 2009. In April 2011, the president appointed him dean of degree programs. He joined ESMT in May 2005 as an associate professor and served as the director of ESMT's Executive MBA Program from July 2007 to November 2009. Prior to joining ESMT, Zoltán was the director of Budapest School of Management of BUESPA and the associate dean of the university's Faculty of Business Administration where he held the McKinsey & Co. Chair in Strategy.

CB Bhattacharya

Professor, Pietro Ferrero Chair in Sustainability, Director, Center for Sustainable Business, ESMT

CB Bhattacharya is the Pietro Ferrero Chair in Sustainability at ESMT European School of Management and Technology in Berlin, Germany. On September 1, 2010 the president appointed him the associate dean of international relations and on April 1, 2011, dean of international relations.

Matthew S. Bothner

Professor Deutsche Telekom Chair in Leadership and HR Development, ESMT

Matt Bothner joined ESMT European School of Management and Technology in 2011 as a full professor and is the first holder of the Deutsche Telekom Chair in Leadership and HR Development. Before joining ESMT, Professor Bothner was a visiting associate professor of sociology at Cornell University, as well as a fellow at the Center for the Study of Economy and Society at Cornell.

Joe Peppard

Professor, ESMT

Joe is Director of the School’s IT Leadership Program. He is also Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia. Over the years he has held academic appointments at Loughborough University, Trinity College Dublin, Groningen University, and the University of Sydney.

The focus of Joe’s research and teaching is in the area of information systems and technology. His research falls under five broad themes:

  • Leadership: driving the organisation forward in the use and exploitation of IT, including the leadership role of the CIO
  • Strategy: thinking strategically about information, systems and technology
  • Innovation: marrying emerging technology capability with business opportunities
  • Organisation: structuring and sourcing IT infrastructure, services, human capital and processes and the enterprise governance of IT
  • Value: generating value from IT investments.

Joe has published widely in academic, general business and management journals. In 2009 he was awarded the Stafford Beer Medal by the OR Society for his research. His most recent books include Strategic Planning for Information Systems (Wiley) and Customer Relationship Management: Perspectives from the Marketplace (Butterworth-Heinemann). He is currently working on a book Business Innovation with Information Technology. He is an Editorial Board Member of European Management Journal and the Journal of Information Technology.

Professor Peppard's consulting is focused on advising organisations on IT and strategy related matters and how to unlock business value from their IT investments. He also works with a number of technology companies helping them with their strategy, market positioning and growth.

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Module 1 - Core Managerial Competences

Module 1 - Core Managerial Competences


Learning objective
The first ETP module delivers an intensive deep-dive learning experience. It is here that participants experience core management functions – the basic pillars of an enterprise. The module presents a condensed, hands-on approach to each management discipline. Participants will learn to master the core competences, including sound general management. They will also gain a greater understanding of how an organization’s individual functions operate and interact with one another.

Action learning
The ETP Outdoor Exercise teaches participants to efficiently and effectively collaborate in teams. Under the close guidance of experienced facilitators, participants spend a full day in an outdoor environment where they learn the value of individual capabilities, the diversity of groups, and applied teamwork.
The ETP Challenge is a complex business simulation exercise, which runs during and between modules 1 and 2. Competing teams work together to simulate board-level decision making in stressful situations and to develop cross-functional management perspectives.

Module content

  • accounting and control
  • finance and value creation
  • R&D
  • operations and supply chain
  • marketing
  • sales
  • human resources

Learning in residence
Each module features 7 program days spread over 8 calendar days in residence. The rigorous program content is supplemented by class events and extracurricular activities designed to create networking opportunities within the ETP peer group. The format of evening sessions is flexible, varies by module, and provides added diversity to the learning process.

Module 2 - General Management Perspectives

Module 2 - General Management Perspectives

ETP_Module 2

Learning objective
The second ETP module focuses on developing crossfunctional perspectives. Participants gain a greater understanding of the diverse issues related to their new leadership roles. They learn to formulate strategies for a given business context, balance the expectations of all stakeholders, and master the arts of decision making and effective execution.

Action learning
Program participants enjoy a unique opportunity to meet and learn with outstanding business leaders of major global companies. Renowned executives share their personal experiences and insights on the opportunities and challenges facing today’s managers. Past guests have included board members of Bayer, Boston Consulting Group, BMW, Daimler, E.ON, Hewlett-Packard, Lufthansa, MAN, and Siemens.

Module content

  • analyzing industry context
  • corporate and competitive strategies
  • growth strategies
  • creating value through mergers and acquisitions
  • strategic innovation
  • decision making from the perspective of the general manager
  • negotiation
  • managing corporate communications
Module 3 - Integrative Leadership in Action

Module 3 - Integrative Leadership in Action

ETP_Module 3

Learning objective
The program’s third module helps participants integrate their personal leadership experiences with current leadership research and best practices. Faculty and participants explore how executive skills, attitudes, and behavior can have a sustainable, positive impact on people, teams, and organizations. Participants work closely with faculty, coaches, and business executives. And they learn to articulate their own leadership style as they manage their executive transition.

Action learning
Confidential, online administration of the proven 360-degree feedback instrument:

  • How are you perceived as a leader?
  • Small group leadership coaching with executive coaches
  • Peer coaching practice within the ETP class
  • Emphasis on teamwork and the value of diversity

Module content

  • leaders, leadership, and followers
  • leading organizations through change
  • ethical dilemmas in leadership
  • corporate governance
  • managing across cultures
  • executive careers and transitions
  • leading and reinventing yourself
  • managing your back-to-the-job agenda
  • executive communication

ESMT alumni network and ETP Salon

Participants who complete the ETP receive lifetime membership in the ESMT alumni network. This includes participation in events and reunions such as the ETP Salon, periodic updates on school activities, access to industry-specific networking groups, and the use of the on-campus information center facilities and services.

The Executive Transition Program - your door to general management

The Executive Transition Program - your door to general management

The Executive Transition Program is a general management seminar. It is a modular six-week program designed for experienced functional managers who have recently moved, or are about to move, into positions with general management responsibility.

The ETP provides an integrative understanding of key management functions, including the personal and organizational skills required to lead an enterprise and the broad strategic capabilities needed to identify and capitalize on new growth opportunities.

Combining residential modules with inter-modular activities, ETP offers an intense learning experience spread over 10 months, providing executives with the necessary tools needed to master the transition from a functional role to general management.