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David Robertson named LEGO Professor

of Innovation and Technology Management

Professor Robertson

Professor Robertson

April 28, 2010

IMD is pleased to announce that David Robertson has been named the LEGO Professor of Innovation and Technology Management. Professor Xavier Gilbert, Emeritus Professor of Strategy at IMD, previously held the LEGO Professorship.

The relationship between IMD and the LEGO Group goes back several decades. It began when Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, the grandson of the LEGO Group founder, took part in the 1972 IMD MBA class. Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen then served as the LEGO Group CEO from 1979 to 2004. In 1991, he asked Xavier Gilbert, one of his favorite professors from his IMD MBA experience, to work with the LEGO Group to develop and run a series of tailored senior management programs. Also in 1991, he established the LEGO Chair at IMD, first awarded to Professor Gilbert.

“I know that Xavier and the LEGO Group had a long and happy relationship in which both parties learned from each other. That is what I hope to have – a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the company,” stated Professor Robertson.

“We are very happy to announce the appointment of David Robertson as LEGO Professor. We have had a long and fruitful relationship with IMD over the years, and we very much look forward to continuing this cooperation with Professor Robertson,” said the LEGO Group CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp.

Professor Robertson has written two case studies on the LEGO Group and has also detailed the company’s innovation governance system in the following Tomorrow’s Challenge article. He is in the process of writing a book about the company. Entitled “Rebuilding LEGO”, the book will focus on the innovation turnaround that took place within the company back in 2003.

“What the LEGO Group did with their innovation management system is both sophisticated and inspiring,” Professor Robertson said. “Many companies have gained valuable insights from the case I wrote on the turnaround of the LEGO Group’s innovation system. I am convinced there is much more companies can learn from the LEGO Group about innovation management.”

The LEGO Group is a member of IMD’s Corporate Learning Network. The company’s CEO - Jørgen Vig Knudstorp - is a member of IMD’s Foundation Board.

About IMD

Based in Switzerland, IMD is consistently top-ranked among business schools worldwide. With more than 60 years’ experience, IMD takes a real world, real learning approach to executive education. IMD offers pioneering and collaborative solutions to address clients’ challenges. Our perspective is international – we understand the complexity of the global environment. Real-impact executive learning and leadership development at IMD enables participants to learn more, deliver more and be more.

About the LEGO Group

The LEGO Group is a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. The company is still owned by the Kirk Kristiansen family who founded it in 1932. The LEGO Group is engaged in the development of children’s creativity through playing and learning. Based on the world-famous LEGO brick, the company today provides toys, experiences and teaching materials for children in more than 130 countries. The LEGO Group has approximately 8,000 employees, and it is the world’s fifth largest manufacturer of play materials.



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