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The chair, entitled “The Coca-Cola Professorship of Consumer Insights and Customer Marketing,” will finance the salary of a professor and additional research in an area of interest designated by The Coca-Cola Company. The first holder of the chair will be Professor John Walsh.
Professor Walsh is in his 10th year at IMD. He is the Program Director of IMD’s rigorous, action-oriented Executive MBA program and also directs a number of customized programs for other companies including Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company and Hilton Hotels Corporation.
In the context of the chaired professorship, Professor Walsh will lead the development of the executive education curriculum and undertake research projects to enhance understanding of consumer and shopper marketing, and in particular, purchaser behavior at the choice occasion and in-store.
“It is truly an honor for me to be associated with such a prestigious company as Coca-Cola and the Coca-Cola system,” says Professor Walsh. “I look forward to embarking on the research agenda we have set out.”
“This endowment puts us at the forefront of executive education while gaining valuable insight from well-researched and tested customer development and commercial capability building practices,” says Muhtar Kent, president and chief operating officer, The Coca-Cola Company. “A key pillar of The Coca-Cola Company’s sustainable growth strategy involves nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual success.
“This relationship is an example of our philosophy in action and is another step in our commitment to being the most respected, preferred and trusted global partner for our customers and bottling partners.”
“IMD’s success rests largely on our ability to attract and retain the best professors worldwide,” adds IMD President Peter Lorange. “Endowed chairs are critical in this respect, and by funding one, The Coca-Cola Company will contribute to IMD’s long-term success, directly supporting our efforts to maintain preeminence in the field of executive education.”