Executive Transition Program

Succeed in the transition to general management responsibility

> Target audienceKey benefitsKey topics  – Meet the staff

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.


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 English-speaking capabilities.


Key benefits

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


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. 

  • Research and Development
  • Operations and Supply Chain
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Human Resources
  • IT Management
  • Executive Transitions
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Competitive Strategy
  • Strategic Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Non-market Strategies: The Role of Lobbying, Politics, and Regulation
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Decision Making
  • Evidence-based Management
  • Leaders, Leadership, and Followers
  • Leading Change
  • Business Ethics and CSR
  • Managing across Cultures
  • Executive Careers
  • Leading and Reinventing Yourself
  • Executive Communication



"There are usually several transitions in a professional career. But the move from functional to general management requires a fundamental change in capabilities, skills, and attitudes. After the ETP, I was appointed chairman of the board. I am happy to have attended the ETP, which gave me the opportunity to learn, experiment, develop, and build a network of great people from very different backgrounds – while preparing for my transition."

Michael Kiesewetter, Chairman of the Board, Investitions- und Förderbank Niedersachsen NBank



Meet the teaching staff

Executive Transition Program

Module 1

20. - 27. Oct 2017
7 Days
Schloss Gracht

Module 2

16. - 23. Feb 2018
7 Days

Module 3

20. - 27. Apr 2018
7 Days
19,900 €
(includes program fee, learning materials, program-related activities, and on-campus meals)

Urs Müller (Program Director)
Lecturer and Head of the Practice Group Consumer Goods and Retail, ESMT Berlin

Urs' focus in research and teaching is in the domain of Business ethics. Sometimes he also moves into the areas of Strategy and Change Management. He truly enjoys the opportunity and privilege to regularly discuss with executives the dilemmas that they really face in their daily life. Urs joined ESMT Berlin in September 2005 where he currently is a lecturer and serves as the head of the practice group "Consumer Goods and Retail". After his studies of Philosophy, German Literature and Art History at the University of Goettingen (Germany) and at the Université de Fribourg (Switzerland), Urs taught at the University of Goettingen, at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun (Poland) and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U.S.A.).

During and after working on his PhD at theUniversity of Goettingen, Urs worked as management consultant for A.T. Kearney. Where he served different international clients. Urs is a best-selling and award winning case author and serves as visiting tutor on writing and teaching with case studies for "The Case Centre". His work has been featured or quoted in several leading German and international media such as Al Jazeera, BBC, Bild, Deutsche Welle, Financial Times, Handelsblatt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, The Times, or The Wall Street Journal.

Zoltán Antal-Mokos, PhD
Professor of Strategy Dean of Degree Programs, ESMT Berlin

Zoltán Antal-Mokos has been a professor of strategy and dean of degree programs since 2011, which followed his service as associate dean since 2009 and the director of Executive MBA Program since 2007. Prior to joining ESMT in 2005, Zoltán was the McKinsey & Co. Chair in Strategy at the Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration, Hungary, where he also held leadership positions as associate dean of the Faculty of Business Administration and director of the university’s graduate school of management.
He graduated as an economist in Budapest, where he also received his first doctorate degree. With a grant from the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program, Zoltán then completed his second PhD at London Business School, University of London. He was member of the Committee of Management and Organization Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences between 1996 until 2011. Zoltán’s research focuses on the interrelationships between ownership, firm level strategy, competitiveness, as well as mergers and acquisitions, and organizational politics.

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 Berlin. On April 1, 2011 the president appointed him the dean of international relations. CB is the founder of the Center for Sustainable Business (CSB) at ESMT. He has also established the Sustainable Business Roundtable (SBRT), a forum to discuss opportunities and challenges to mainstreaming sustainability practices within organizations, which has grown to include over 26 multinational companies.
His expertise is in the area of business strategy innovation aimed at increasing both business and social value, specifically how companies can use underleveraged "intangible assets" such as corporate identity and reputation, membership and brand communities, and corporate social responsibility to strengthen stakeholder relationships. Prof. Bhattacharya has published over 100 articles in leading journals and has over 15,000 citations per Google Scholar.

Matthew S. Bothner
Professor Deutsche Telekom Chair in Leadership and HR Development, ESMT Berlin

Matt Bothner joined ESMT Berlin in 2011 as a professor and the first holder of the Deutsche Telekom Chair in Leadership and HR Development. In 2015 he was appointed as the acting director of PhD Studies. His current research addresses the measurement and consequences of social status in several empirical settings, including venture capital, professional sports, and higher education. Bothner studies status to understand a form of ethical leadership—leadership guided by the categorical imperative, and for which status can be a means, not an end. In addition, he has developed computational models both to better understand factors affecting the evolution of cumulative advantage and to clarify the optimal strategies for leading tournaments for peer recognition. His research has been published in Administrative Science Quarterly, American Journal of Sociology, Management Science, and Organization Science.

Joe Peppard
Professor, ESMT Berlin

Joe Peppard is a Professor at ESMT Berlin. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor at the University of South Australia. Previously, he held academic appointments at Cranfield School of Management (United Kingdom), Loughborough University (United Kingdom), Trinity College, Dublin (Ireland), Groningen University (the Netherlands), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), and University of Sydney (Australia). In 2011 he was the Dean’s Distinguished Scholar at the University of Southern Queensland (Australia). The focus of his research is in the area of information, information systems and information technology. Through his research he seeks to challenge dominant orthodoxies as he believes that these are contributing significantly to the problems that organizations have in leveraging digital technologies, both operationally and strategically, and ultimately in optimizing the value delivered from digital investments. Professor Peppard has published widely in academic and general business and management journals and regularly presents his work at international conferences.


and more internationally renowned and skilled educators and researchers with practical business experience

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.