About the Institute for Management Development (IMD)

The Institute for Management Development (IMD) is an independent academic institution with Swiss roots and global reach, founded 75 years ago by business leaders for business leaders. Since its creation, IMD has been a pioneering force in developing leaders who transform organizations and contribute to society.

Based in Lausanne (Switzerland) and Singapore, IMD has been ranked in the Top 3 of the annual FT’s Executive Education Global Ranking for the last nine consecutive years and in the top five for 17 consecutive years. Our MBA and EMBA programs have repeatedly been singled out among the best in Europe and the world. 

We believe that this consistency at the forefront of our industry is grounded in IMD’s unique approach to creating “Real Learning. Real Impact”. Led by an expert and diverse faculty, we strive to be the trusted learning partner of choice for ambitious individuals and organizations worldwide. Challenging what is and inspiring what could be.

IMD has also stepped up its action and measurement efforts in the area of sustainability in recent years. EcoVadis announced the business school’s silver rating for 2019, showing a clear year-on-year progression.

Our Purpose

Challenging what is and inspiring what could be, we develop leaders who transform organizations and contribute to society.

Our Values

Our Values

IMD origin history


Origins & history



Before 1990

1946 CEI - Centre d'Etudes Industrielles is established by Alcan Aluminium, Limited (now Rio Tinto Alcan, Inc) in Geneva. CEI would function under this name until 1981.

1956 IMEDE - Institut pour l'Etude des Méthodes de Direction de l'Entreprise is established in Lausanne by Nestlé in coordination with Harvard Business School. The institute would operate under this name until 1989.

1972 IMD's world-class MBA program is launched.

1981 CEI officially becomes IMI - International Management Institute and would function under this name until 1989. 

1989 Ranking the nations of the world in terms of economic outputs, IMD publishes the first World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY).

1990 - 2000

1990 IMI merges with IMEDE to create IMD – International Institute for Management Development. Facilities are all to be based in Lausanne and the vision to develop global leaders is adopted.

1995 IMD's largest program for individuals and teams, Orchestrating Winning Performance (OWP), is launched in Lausanne.

1996 Marking the formation of CEI, IMD celebrates 50 years of providing knowledge and business education to global leaders.

1998 IMD launches its first EMBA program.

After 2000

2013 The IMD Global Family Business Center celebrates its 25th Anniversary and the IMD World Competitiveness Center (WCC) celebrates the 25th edition of the World Competitiveness Yearbook.

2015 IMD opens its Southeast Asia Executive Learning Center in Singapore. IMD and Cisco inaugurate the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center).


IMD campus

1787-1790The neo-classic heritage-listed building La Résidence is built in Lausanne's Ouchy. Among many uses, the building currently serves as IMD's reception and is home to the President's office.
1850The Horse Barn is built to serve La Résidence. Today the building hosts IMD's restaurant and the campus hotspot "The Meeting Place" is set up at its entrance.
1989In anticipation of the merger creating IMD, the Bignami Buildings are inaugurated and the signature IMD lightwell becomes a networking area.
2002Ranked among the most beautiful business school buildings, IMD inaugurates the Executive Learning Center.
2006IMD inaugurates the Nestlé Building, which becomes the home of IMD case studies and many IMD research outputs.
2008The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center is inaugurated. It features IMD's largest conference space with a stadium-seating style auditorium that accommodates up to 350 people.  

IMD’s contribution to the regional economy

According to a new ‘Impact Report’ guided by EFMD’s Business School Impact System, IMD’s economic contribution to its home city of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud was estimated to be CHF 360 million in 2018.

In addition to pure economic spending, executives and associates who come to IMD for education or work stay an equivalent of 40,000 nights in local hotels every year.

The report also reveals that over 11,000 alumni are based in Switzerland with more than 2,800 in Vaud working for multinationals, small and medium-sized companies, public institutions, and startups.

Read the full Impact Report in English or French.


IMD Annual Report 2019


At the top of the charts

"IMD's programs are ranked highly by the world's most influential business publications."