CEO Academy®

Program Overview

Celebrating 20 years of executive leadership

Focusing on the most critical leadership issues facing new and established CEOs, CEO Academy® brings together the world’s most well-respected chief executives to share what worked while leading their companies through major change and what they would have done differently. Attendees leave with actionable insights from CEOs in the trenches, as well as a richer perspective on macroeconomic trends, shareholder engagement, and strategic leadership.

Designed for both new and experienced chief executive officers, this program features as speakers more than 15 current and former CEOs from major companies. They will focus on the most critical leadership issues relevant to new and established CEOs.

Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In CEO Academy®, you will:

  • Enhance your leadership and strategic decision-making skills
  • Gain new insight into some of the major issues affecting CEO decision-making today
  • Connect with peers in a dynamic setting
  • Hear from veteran CEOs leading their organizations at critical moments and what they learned

Experience & Impact

CEOs face increasing economic uncertainty, disruptive innovation, and activist shareholders. This unique leadership program brings together current and former chief executives from major companies, leaders from institutional investment and governance firms, and Wharton’s senior faculty members.

In sum, this program provides a unique learning experience for CEOs, in which they can elevate their thinking around leadership and strategy and learn from other successful leaders in a collaborative peer environment. CEO Academy® executives and faculty have collectively served on more than 50 major company boards.

Session topics may include:

  • Why CEO Continuous Improvement Is Critical
  • Case Studies of Successful CEOs
  • Why Capital Allocation Is Strategy
  • Ethics and Integrity: Setting the Tone at the Top
  • The Discipline of Getting Things Done
  • Continue to Innovate or Die
  • Placing Your Bets Around the World
  • How Best to Assess Your Team
  • The Changing Landscape of Shareholder Engagement
  • What You Need to Know About Media
  • Boards That Lead: When to Take Charge, When to Partner, and When to Stay Out of the Way
  • Transform Your Company Before Others Do
  • The Art of Delegation

Designed for both new and experienced chief executive officers, this two-day program builds on the highly successful program that since 2001 has brought CEOs together to learn from one another.


The Harold Pratt House
58 East 68th Street,
New York, NY

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

2:00 PM Welcome
Dennis Carey – Founder, CEO Academy and Vice Chairman, CEO and Board Recruiter, Korn Ferry
Michael Useem – William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management and Director, Center for Leadership and Change Management, The Wharton School

2:05 “You Are Not in Kansas Anymore”
Geoffrey Garrett – Dean, The Wharton School

2:45 New Ideas for Leaders and Their Board of Directors
Matthew Espe - Former President and CEO, Armstrong World Industries Inc., and Director, WESCO International Inc., Realogy Holdings Corporation, and FBM Inc.
Mark Frissora – Former President and CEO, Caesars Entertainment Corporation
Mark Turner – Executive Chairman, WSFS Financial Corporation and WSFS Bank
Facilitated by Martine Haas – Anthony L. Davis Professor of Management; Director, The Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies

3:45 Break

4:00 CFOs – A More Strategic Role?
Thomas Coffey – Former Senior Vice President and CFO, Intelligent Electronics, Inc.; Vice President, Finance Global Infrastructure Services, Unisys Corporation, Director, Westmoreland Coal Company; and KPMG Partner
Fritz Foley – Professor André R. Jakurski of Business Administration, Finance Unit and Senior Associate Dean for Strategic Financial Planning, Harvard Business School
Thomas Liguori – Chief Financial Officer, Avnet Inc.
Michael McMurray – Senior Vice President and CFO, Owens Corning
John Sauerland – Vice President and CFO, Progressive Corporation
David Meline – Executive Vice President and CFO, Amgen Inc.
Facilitated by John Kunasek – Vice Chairman, Market Development, KPMG

5:00 How Global Business is Changing and Is It Good News?
Mike McNamara – Partner, Eclipse Ventures; Former CEO, Flex; and Director, Workday Inc.
Dinesh Paliwal – President and CEO, HARMAN and Director, Nestle SA, Raytheon Co., and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Facilitated by Harbir Singh – Mack Professor of Management; Co-Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management; Faculty Director, Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business

6:00 Cocktails

7:00 Dinner

Thursday, November 21, 2019

8:00 AM Informal Breakfast

8:45 Running a Complex Business
James McNerney – Former Chairman and CEO, The Boeing Company and Director, Procter & Gamble Company
Facilitated by Thomas Donaldson – Mark O. Winkelman Professor; Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics, The Wharton School

9:30 What Do Shareholders Want from Boards?
Glenn Booraem – Principal and Investment Stewardship Officer, The Vanguard Group
Abe Friedman – Partner and Head, PJT Camberview
Rakhi Kumar – Senior Vice President & Head of ESG Investment & Asset Stewardship,
State Street Global Advisors
Mark Mandel – Vice Chairman and Portfolio Manager, Wellington Management Company LLP
Facilitated by Emilie Feldman – Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

10:30 Break

10:45 Managing a Board from a CEO’s Perspective
Michael Patsalos-Fox – Chairman, President, and CEO of Vidyo Inc. and Director, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation
Raj Gupta – Former President and CEO, Rohm and Haas Company and Director, Arconic Inc., Aptiv PLC, Avantor Inc., and DuPont de Nemours Inc.
Andrew Liveris – Former Chairman and CEO, Dow Chemical Company, and Director, WorleyParsons Ltd., Novonix Ltd., and IBM Corporation
Patricia Poppe – President and CEO, CMS Energy Corporation
Denise Ramos – Former CEO, ITT Inc.; and Director, Phillips 66 and United Technologies Corporation
Facilitated by Richard Truesdell – Partner, Davis Polk and Wardwell

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Managing Your Portfolio
Edward Breen – Chairman, DuPont de Nemours Inc. and Director, Comcast Corporation and Corteva Inc.

2:00 How Should CEOs Think About the Trade Off Between Short-Termism and Going Long?
Brian Dumaine – Senior Editor at Large, Fortune Magazine
Rodney Zemmel – Managing Partner, Northeast Office, McKinsey & Company
Facilitated by Michael Useem, William AND Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management; Director, Center for Leadership and Change Management, The Wharton School

3:00 Break

3:15 Is Digital Transformation Real or Just Talk?
Rick Crandall – Chairman, Donnelley Financial Solutions Inc.
Brian McNamee – Former Executive Vice President, Full Potential Initiatives, Amgen Inc.
Raj Vattikuti – CEO, Altimetrik Inc.

4:15 What Are Boards and CEOs Doing on the Talent Agenda?
Elizabeth Amato – Executive Vice President and CHRO, United Technologies Corporation and Director, Aqua America Inc.
Nadia Rawlinson – CHRO, Live Nation Entertainment Inc.
Diane Gherson – Senior Vice President and CHRO, IBM Corporation

5:15 Wrap Up and Thoughts About the State of Global Markets
Facilitated by Don Gogel, Chairman and CEO, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

6:00 Closing Remarks
Dennis Carey – Founder, CEO Academy and Vice Chairman and CEO/Board Recruiter, Korn Ferry
Michael Useem – William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management; Director, Center for Leadership and Change Management, The Wharton School

6:15 Cocktails

7:00 Dinner

Prium Prize: Awarded to Ronald Sugar, Former Chairman and CEO, Northrop Grumman
Corporation and Director, Chevron Corporation, Air Lease Corporation, Apple Inc., Amgen Inc., and Uber Technologies Inc.

Board Representation

Participants of CEO Academy® serve as members of boards across a wide range of industries and geographies. Representing virtually every sector of business, below are some of these companies:

  • American Express Company
  • BlackRock Inc.
  • Boeing Company
  • DreamWorks Animations SKG Inc.
  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
  • Motorola Solutions Inc.
  • Proctor & Gamble Company
  • Viacom Inc.
  • Wyeth Inc.
  • Yum! Brands Inc.

See the complete list of companies on which CEO Academy® participants serve.

Who Should Attend

CEO Academy® is designed for both new and veteran CEOs from all industries. The program is limited to 50 attendees, who must be a sitting CEO, Chair, or have been publicly announced as CEO or Chair designate. To further leverage the value and impact of CEO Academy®, participants can bring a board member to attend at no additional charge.

Participants leave the program with an expanded peer network and powerful insights on how to lead their organizations while managing external pressures, from global competition to shareholder activism.

The price to attend CEO Academy® is $20,000. Participants who are CEOs can bring one board member at no additional charge. Corporate memberships, which cover a CEO and two board members, are $30,000.

Fluency in English, written and spoken, is required for participation in Wharton Executive Education programs unless otherwise indicated.


Michael Useem

Michael Useem, PhDSee Faculty Bio

William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management; Professor of Management; Director, Center for Leadership and Change Management; Editor, Wharton Leadership Digest

Research Interests: Catastrophic and enterprise risk management, corporate change and restructuring, leadership, decision making, governance

Sigal Barsade

Sigal Barsade, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Joseph Frank Bernstein Professor; Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Organizational culture, emotional intelligence, unconscious bias, organizational change, teamwork and leadership

Peter Cappelli

Peter Cappelli, DPhilSee Faculty Bio

George W. Taylor Professor of Management; Director, Center for Human Resources, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Human-resource practices, public policy related to employment, talent and performance management

Dennis Carey

Dennis Carey See Faculty Bio

Vice Chairman, Korn Ferry International

Thomas Donaldson

Thomas Donaldson, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Mark O. Winkelman Professor; Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Business ethics, corporate compliance, corporate governance

Geoffrey Garrett

Geoffrey Garrett, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Dean; Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise, The Wharton School; Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

Martine Haas

Martine Haas, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Professor of Management, The Wharton School; Anthony L. Davis Director of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute for Management and International Studies, The University of Pennsylvania

Research Interests: Global collaboration, human & intellectual capital, information technology use, knowledge sharing, teamwork

Harbir Singh

Harbir Singh, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Mack Professor; Professor of Management; Co-Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management; Wharton School Faculty Director for the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Corporate governance, corporate restructuring, management buyouts, strategies for corporate acquisitions

Date, Location, & Fees

November 18 – 19, 2020New York, NY$20,000

Hotel Information

Accommodations in New York City and meals are not included.

The cost of the program is $20,000 for the CEO. A member of the board and/or one or more of a company’s top executives for an additional $10,000 per person, up to three people per company, is allowed.

Prices are subject to change.

International Travel Information »

In Partnership With

CEO Academy - 20th Anniversary

Contact Us

This two-day program will be held at The Harold Pratt House, 58 E. 68th St., New York City.

To register, please contact:
Donna Gregor or visit the CEO Academy website.


Go LongGo Long: Why Long-Term Thinking Is Your Best Short-Term StrategyInspired by the CEO Academy®: Find out why do some companies thrive and grow, while others fail. Co-authored by members of the CEO Academy faculty. Visit Wharton School Press to purchase the book

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