St. Gallen Board Retreat

Executive School of Management, Technology and Law

How long?

  • 3 days
  • in person

Executive School of Management, Technology and Law


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Who should attend

The St.Gallen Board Retreat is open to Chairs and senior non-executive directors from large European companies with revenues typically above EUR 2 billion. The Retreat promotes the diversity of thought and experience:

  • All industries are welcome.
  • All ownership types are welcome (e.g. publicly held, private equity-owned, family-controlled).
  • The Retreat should reflect Europe’s plurality of nationalities.
  • Only one member per company board will be admitted.

About the course

The St.Gallen Board Retreat is a joint initiative by the University of St.Gallen and Egon Zehnder. The Retreat has been designed for Europe’s leading Chairs and non-executive directors to engage in discussion and advance boardroom excellence.

We invite you to experience a novel opportunity to liaise with your peers in a trusted and intimate environment outside your own boardroom. The St.Gallen Board Retreat provides a platform carefully curated by renowned governance scholars, global leaders in board consulting and the Retreat’s high-profile Advisory Board (see below). All content is strictly tailored to the challenges facing your board. Overall, the Retreat aims at facilitating peer exchange, sparking inspiration, conveying new insights and creating a positive impact in your boardroom.

Programme Benefits

  • Engage with peers from Europe’s most important boardrooms: At the St.Gallen Board Retreat you will meet your peers from boardrooms across Europe to discuss, reflect on and resolve challenges facing your board. Selective admission criteria ensure that you will meet relevant peers who can offer novel perspectives on your situation.

  • Get inspired by personal experiences and hear new evidence-based insights: Learn from the experiences of our Advisory Board members who will share their personal stories on how they overcame major obstacles. In addition, you will benefit from the governance expertise of leading academics and the hands-on boardroom insights of seasoned consultants.

  • Obtain tailored solutions that will generate a positive impact in your boardroom: All of the Retreat's content will be tailored to the challenges facing your board. Prior to the programme we will ask you for your specific priorities and expectations. Based on these inputs the St.Gallen Board Retreat will be designed to address the challenges that are most relevant to you.

Course Structure

The St.Gallen Board Retreat is a joint initiative by the University of St.Gallen and Egon Zehnder with the objective to increase board effectiveness. Using an innovative design in an intimate setting, Chairs and seasoned board members from large companies across Europe will work together with academic thought leaders and members of our high-calibre Advisory Board in order to exchange insights and explore new board practices and solutions.

Our highly experienced Advisory Board members will share personal experiences as part of an initial inspiration stream. These experiences will be complemented by an insight stream where scholars provide novel tools and concepts to strengthen boardroom excellence. Finally, a large part of the Retreat will consist of small group discussions within the highly tailored impact stream. The impact stream will draw on participants’ collective insights and will be closely facilitated by St.Gallen’s faculty, Egon Zehnder’s board experts and the Retreat’s distinguished Advisory Board members.


The St.Gallen Board Retreat builds on a designated Board Effectiveness Framework that is organised along four domains essential to board effectiveness. Using the Board Effectiveness Framework as a basis, we will align the St.Gallen Board Retreat curriculum in accordance with your preferences and priorities. The framework provides structure and conceptual clarity, enabling you to easily synthesise insights across the different domains. It will help to integrate individual topics and challenges in an effort to distil the solutions that will have the greatest impact in your boardroom.


Jan Marco Leimeister

Dienstleistungsengineering & Management (Product Service Systems, Service Design, Service Innovation, etc.), Collaboration Engineering (CSCW, Collaborative Requirements Engineering, Virtuelle Communities, Social Computing, etc.), Crowdsourcing, IT Innovationen & IT Innovation Management (...

Winfried Ruigrok

Prof. Dr. Winfried Ruigrok (NL) is the Dean of the Executive School of Management, Technology & Law at the University of St.Gallen. He joined the university as a Professor of International Management in 1996 and has been the Director of the Research Institute for International Management (FIM...

Karolin Frankenberger

Prof. Dr. Karolin Frankenberger is Full Professor of Strategy and Innovation. Her research focuses mainly on the topics of business model innovation, (digital) business transformation and sustainability/circular economy. Prof. Frankenberger is the Director of the Institute of Management & St...

Thomas Gutzwiller

Thomas A. Gutzwiller is Academic Director at the Henri B. Meier Unternehmerschule (ES-HSG). From 2006 to 2012 he was Director at the Executive School of Management, Technology and Law (ES-HSG) at the University of St. Gallen. Before joining the Executive School in 2006 he was Co-Founder, Chairma...

Frank Heckner

Frank Nikolaus Heckner leads Egon Zehnder’s Health Practice in Europe. He conducts non-executive and executive director and C-suite successions with a particular focus on CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and innovation leaders at global, European, and national biopharmaceutical, medical device, medical instrume...

Kati Najipoor-Schutte

Kati Najipoor-Schütte, based in Frankfurt, leads Egon Zehnder’s global CEO Practice and is also deeply involved in the firm’s Board Consulting Practice. Drawing on decades of global advisory and management experience, she advises chairmen and CEOs of publicly traded, family-owned, and private-equ...

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St. Gallen Board Retreat at Executive School of Management, Technology and Law

From  CHF 8 900$9,832
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