MEET THE LEADERS
The Secrets of Extraordinary CEOs
Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox at The Wall Street Journal’s Viewpoints event
sponsored by IESE and the Boston Consulting Group
Ursula Burns reveals how opportunity and hard work enabled her to become
the CEO of Xerox. Howard Schultz describes Starbucks' turnaround.
Sir Howard Stringer divulges his plan to further extend the Sony empire
and Dr. Peter Löscher of Siemens shares his vision for Europe's future.
Ursula Burns recently opened up about her
success and Xerox's transformation during
The Wall Street Journal's Viewpoints
breakfast on June 20, 2011. One of only
12 women worldwide who serve as the
CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Burns is
the only African-American in that group.
She believes that opportunity and hard
work enabled her to become the CEO of
"I was raised to work hard. Nothing came
easily and, even if it did, my mother pretended
it was hard. She was very clear
that our job was to be educated and to
be good contributors to the world. Then I
had the luck to work for a great company.
Xerox didn't seem to care where I came
from," said Burns.
"The reason they hired me and not a drone
is because they wanted me to contribute
something, so I thought part of what I was
supposed to do was speak my mind. If you
have an idea of how to solve a problem
and you sit in a room and don't contribute,
what are you doing there?"
At another Viewpoints event in November,
Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman of
Sony, revealed Sony's plans to reach more
consumers around the globe by ramping up
device connection and digital content.
"What the public around the world really
wants is movies, television, video games
and music -- and we have all four of those
lined up. Once all those devices are connected
seamlessly, as good as iTunes is,
the Sony Entertainment Network will deliver
content globally in a way that no other
company can," he said.
A recent guest hosted by IESE was Howard
Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. Schultz recognized
the importance of social media and
how it has "changed traditional marketing
and the classic way of building a brand
forever." Companies that use social media
merely as a means of selling will not
last long in that world," said Schultz. Social
media has to be used to establish a
relationship with consumers and to build
The presentation was moderated by IESE
Prof. Julián Villanueva and focused on
Schultz's book Onward: How Starbucks
Fought for its Life without Losing its Soul.
One other significant highlight in the IESE
calendar was an upbeat visit from Dr. Peter
Löscher, President and CEO of Siemens.
"Europe is relevant," he said. "There is a debt
crisis but in reality we are talking about a
confidence crisis. I think the real economy
is stronger than the political discourse indicates,"
Asked what distinguishes Siemens, he said
that it has always had a culture of innovation,
excellence and social relevance. "You
can be a great leader," he said. "But whoever
you are, you are only as good as the
people you have around you."
IESE Programs in New York
Program for Leadership Development Prepares for Take-Off in New York
IESE's Program for Leadership Development (PLD), comprises three 1-week modules at
IESE's New York Center and in Miami.
At the end of the program, participants can take part in a Short Focused Program (SFP)
of their choice in Europe or the United States. This provides participants with the opportunity
to customize the learning experience to their own needs and deepen their understanding
of a specific industry or competency.
For more information about the program, please email email@example.com.
Senior Executive Program New York-Miami
Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, interviewed by IESE Prof. José Luis Nueno at the World Business Forum 2011
Aimed at top-tier executives, the Senior Executive Program (SEP) is the school's flagship
program for executives based in the United States. The program features four 5-day modules
in New York City and Miami and provides a global, media-focused curriculum, along
with valuable networking opportunities.
The fourth edition of the program kicked-off in New York City on October 3-7, 2011. As
part of the opening module, participants attended a session with Bill Clinton on global
leadership challenges at the World Business Forum (WBF). IESE faculty members were
well represented on stage at the WBF, with Prof. José Luis Nueno moderating a session
with Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, and Prof. Marta Elvira and Prof. Paddy Miller also
participating in key events.
During their time at IESE's New York Center, the SEP participants enjoyed sessions led
by Academic Directors Javier Estrada and Luis Cabral, as well as Paddy Miller, Pascual
Berrone, Marta Elvira and Eric Weber.
The second module "Systems and Processes" took place in Miami on November 7-11.
The 26 participants represent a diverse range of leading companies, including: Wal-Mart,
Deutsche Bank, the United Nations, Sotheby's, Heineken, DHL, CEMEX, KPMG, Telefónica,
OHL and Gamesa.
NBC News' Chief Digital Officer Speaks to IESE MBA Students
Students from IESE's 2012 MBA class attended
a module offered at the New York Center on
September 1, 2011. This module featured an
in-depth look at technology and its impact
on social change.
During the module, Vivian Schiller, Chief Digital
Officer of NBC News, spoke to the students
about how technology changes are impacting
both the news and TV businesses.
Later that day, Prof. Sandra Sieber led a networking
event with the MBA students and
alumni, during which she spoke about new
trends in corporate communication and collaboration.
This New York module was one of IESE's new
international module electives offered for second
year MBA students. There are also elective
modules being held in Shanghai and São
Executive MBA Participants Visit IESE's New York Center
In October, the New York Center hosted students
from IESE's Executive MBA class from
Barcelona, Spain. IESE's week-long international
modules offered the participants the
opportunity to gain a global perspective on
business, media and finance.
The group of 32 visited Citi-Group during their
stay and participated in a Continuous Education
session at IESE's New York Center.
During the session, IESE alumnus Frank Asín
(MBA 92), founder and Director of SunOne
Solutions and Board Member and Executive
Director of Endesa Carbono, shared his experiences
as a global entrepreneur with Prof.
Luis Cabral, Academic Director of IESE's New
York Center and economist.
Acknowledging the gambles involved in starting
new businesses, Asín said, "Those who
want to be entrepreneurs cannot be afraid of
failure." Asín was speaking from experience;
four of his previous ventures were unsuccessful.
Drawing on the United States' forgiving
attitude towards business failures, he persevered
and founded Ahlcarbono, now part of
In 2012, the Madrid Executive MBA program
will travel to New York in June and the Global
Executive MBA program will hold modules
there in March, April and June.