- IMD Business School
News Stories · Strategy

IMD building strong presence in Silicon Valley

With a growing number of alumni and presence in the region, IMD is reinforcing its ties to this innovation hub
April 2018

“IMD is well connected to the high tech world and one of the best ways to achieve that is to have a strong presence in the heart of Silicon Valley.” That’s according to Thierry Maupilé, Executive Vice-President (Strategic Development) at IMD, who is working hard to make those connections even stronger.

Thierry completed his MBA at IMD in 1988, before moving on to a successful career at Cisco, becoming an Executive-in-Residence at IMD, and later playing a crucial role in the founding of the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, an IMD and Cisco initiative (DBT Center). To give IMD additional support and presence for IMD in the region, Thierry has recently started representing IMD in Silicon Valley as well as taking a leadership role with Tech Mahindra.

Accomplished Alumni network

Executives who pass through IMD have long gone on to bright and interesting futures but a trend in the previous few years has seen a growing number of IMD MBAs and EMBAs pursuing careers at high tech companies in Silicon Valley: at Cisco, Google, Alphabet, Facebook ,Intel, Salesforce.com, GE Digital, Samsung, Ideo, Amazon, Ideo, Tesla, NetApp, Harmonic, Blue Danube, Infinera, Aerohive, NHN Venture, Amex Ventures and the list goes on. Companies who have more than one IMD Alumni include Cisco, Google/Alphabet and Tesla

The increase in IMD affiliated professionals active in the region coincides with the success of IMD’s DBT Center. A cutting-edge initiative at the time of its creation, more than 600 executives have since participated in the center’s Leading Digital Business Transformation program. In addition to a number of IMD alumni being recruited by Cisco, this has contributed to more and more awareness and interest in IMD among companies active in the high tech sector including those present in Silicon Valley.

Growing numbers

A recent count showed that there are more than 80 IMD MBA and EMBA Alumni in Silicon Valley out of  more than 800 in the State of California.

Along with the growing number of IMD alumni professionally active in the region, the school is reinforcing its activities to accompany and leverage this growth. In addition to Thierry Maupilé, two other IMD Alumni are also contributing to strengthening IMD’s Alumni Club in Silicon Valley and the wider region.

Matteo Fabiano, Managing Partner at FireMatter, completed his MBA at IMD in 2004 and is now the new President of the IMD Alumni Club of Northern California. Matteo says: “The IMD alumni community is a tremendous asset and we are working to revamp the NorCal club and further energize the community. The priorities are to strengthen relationships among alumni, help newly-minted alumni continue to maintain a relationship with IMD and create an outpost for alumni communities that more closely aligned with the broader ecosystem such as the Alumni Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE).

Daniela Mielke is also contributing to IMD’s success in Silicon Valley. Her career spans more than 25 years in global management roles in strategy consulting, consumer goods, payments and related Fintech. An Alumni of companies such as McKinsey, Visa and PayPal, Daniela is now the North American CEO of RS2 Software, a leading edge payment processor.

Thierry recently held the first of a series of events for IMD MBAs and EMBAs active in the high tech sector in the Silicon Valley area, and is optimistic that interest will only continue to grow. “There was a positive energy and enthusiasm from the group at our first event. There was a high representation of graduates from the past five years who are eager to contribute,” Thierry says. “IMD is ahead of the curve really turning a corner here in the Valley with its increased presence and activities.”

The IMD EMBA, MBA and many custom programs, have profited from the insightful contributions of IMD alumni in the Valley.  Kardhym Kelly at Salesforce.com has been a tremendous supporter, as has Sascha Zahnd and Tom Cohen at Tesla, Saswat Panigrahi at Waymo, Neil Smith at Google, Grant Allen at ABB, Dominic Liechti at the Khan Academy, John Skeehan at Logitec, Tony Jamous of Nexmo/Vonage, Harshul Sanghi of AMEX Ventures and angel investor Jerry Gramaglia.

On the map

Thierry, Matteo, Daniela and Kardhym as well as many other Alumni, are looking forward to hosting the IMD MBA discovery expedition to the Valley in June.

“I’ve been in the Valley for a number of years now and you can really feel that IMD is generating interest from more companies in the region. IMD is a very different business school with cutting-edge leadership development programs; there is a sweet spot for IMD here, we are increasingly gaining our place on the map” says Thierry.