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Wharton Executive Education and IESE Business School Bridge the Divide Between Strategy & Operational Execution

Two leading business schools join forces to present one-of-a-kind executive program bridging strategy and execution.

Philadelphia, PA: To successfully lead an organization in an increasingly complex and competitive world, today’s senior executives need to draw connections between functions and read cues from the global environment. Now two of the world’s leading business schools – the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and IESE Business School — have joined forces once again to present a one-of-a-kind program that combines execution, operational excellence, and change management, all with a decidedly global mindset.

Business Strategy & Operational Execution: Bridging the Divide offers distinct advantages by design, says Karl Ulrich, Wharton professor of operations and information management. “Our intent in joining with IESE is to provide global market insights and hands-on experiences that span geography, academic perspectives, and pedagogical methods. The inclusion of a competitive business simulation along with visits to best-of-breed companies, faculty experts, and relevant speakers ensures that the theory participants learn can be readily put into practice.”

Ulrich and Pedro Videla, professor of economics at the IESE Business School, are faculty directors of the two-week program, which takes a coast-to-coast journey, beginning with a residential module at Wharton | San Francisco and then moving to the New York Center of the IESE Business School. A break between the two weeks provides the time and space for participants to apply and reflect on their new business knowledge.

“We want to give participants the tools and frameworks for identifying all the challenges they face in today’s changing business environment so they can develop effective strategies and apply them in day-to-day operations. We are bridging the gap between two essential elements for organizations — strategy and operational execution,” Videla says.

The program is best suited for senior executives in large, multinational companies based primarily in the U.S. Typically, these leaders have 15 or more years of experience and may work in a wide range of industries, particularly those with a manufacturing component, such as chemical, pharmaceutical, retail, consumer goods, and oil and gas. They may have recently assumed broader responsibilities within their company, perhaps with a business unit that operates internationally, and need to understand how to link strategy and execution along with leading across cultural boundaries.

For the greatest impact, companies are encouraged to send cross-functional teams of executives to the program, with group benefits available to companies sending four or more participants to this program.

Business Strategy & Operational Execution: Bridging the Divide is the second joint program for Wharton and IESE Business School, which together with China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) have been presenting the three-week Global CEO Program: A Transformational Journey since 2008.


Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate,MBA,executive MBA,and doctoral students; more than 9,000 participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 92,000 graduates.


IESE is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. With campuses in Europe, New York city and Sao Paulo, and an office in Munich, the school seeks to develop business leaders with a global mindset and a general management approach to make a positive impact on society. IESE's alumni network includes more than 40,000 graduates working some 100 countries.

IESE is the graduate business school of the University of Navarra, which is an initiative of Opus Dei, a personal Prelature of the Roman Catholic Church. Ethical principles based on the Christian tradition are the hallmark of a responsible notion of leadership and management, and a positive view of companies in society.

Media Contact

  • Eleena de Lisser
    Director of Marketing Communications
    Aresty Institute of Executive Education
    The Wharton School
    University of Pennsylvania
  • Marie Oates
    Head of US Communications, Institutional Development and Alumni
    IESE Business School