Christoph is a chaired professor of strategic management at the University of St. Gallen, director of its Institute of Management & Strategy (IfB) and academic director of its “master in general management” (MGM).
Christoph was a board member of Helvetia (insurance, Swiss Stock Exchange) from 2007-2022, vice president of Hügli (food, Swiss Stock Exchange) from 2000-2018 until it was sold to Bell/ Coop Group, and co-founded SwissVBS, a digital solution firm in 2002, until it was sold in 2018 to BTS Global Business Consulting, Sweden. He started his business career by working for 7 years for Deutsche Bank Group, including an apprenticeship program, corporate banking, and investment banking in Germany and Singapore. He is still active in the private equity industry with investments in later stage firms in the food and banking/ insurance industry.
Christoph works internationally as strategy advisor and has educated executives from firms such as ABB, Allianz, Altana, Clariant, Credit Suisse, Danaher, Daimler, Eni, Fresenius, Givaudan, Munich Re, Novartis, Oracle, PWC, Richemont, SAP, Santander, Siemens, Swiss Life, Tata, UBS, Zürich, or VW.
His current research interests are in the areas of digital platforms, ecosystems, and corporate strategy. His research has won several awards, such as the Sumantra Ghoshal research and practice award of the Academy of Management, the best conference paper award of the Strategic Management Society, or the best German book award of the VHB Society.
He was able to publish his work in leading academic journals such as Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Long Range Planning, Journal of Management, Strategy Science, as well as in practitioner journals such as Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Manager, or Financial Times. He was guest professor at Wharton business school (USA), IAE Business School (Argentina), University of Connecticut (USA), and University of California (USA).
He holds a master’s in arts in economics from Wayne State University, a master’s in business administration from University of Augsburg, and a PhD from University of St. Gallen. During his career, he received academic job offers from Bocconi (Italy), EM Lyon (France), University of Mannheim (Germany), and ESMT (Germany).
2010- Strategy I (Master in General Management)
2022- Alliances, Digital Platforms & Ecosystems (Master in General Management)
2006- Theoretical Perspectives in Management (PhD Level, Core Course)
2017- Strategic Management (Bachelor, Core Course)
Teaching in Executive Education Programs
1997- Lecturer of Selected Topics in Strategic Management in Open Enrollment Programs & Customized In-house Programs for Corporations such as Allianz (Insurance), Altana (Chemicals), OC Oerlikon (Industrial Machinery), Bell Canada (Telecom), Booz & Company (Consulting), Bakelite (White goods), Clariant (Chemicals), Credit Suisse (Banking), Daimler (Automotive), Deutsche Bank (Banking), Fresenius (Medical equipment), Helvetia (Insurance), Kienbaum (Consulting), Migros (Retail), Mummert & Partner (Consulting), Munich Re (Re-insurance), Oracle (Software), RAG (Energy), Schindler (Industrial Machinery), Siemens (Electronic Equipment), Swiss Life (Insurance), Swiss Re (Re-insurance), Tata (Construction material), UBS (Banking), VW (automotive)
1997-2019 Strategic Management (Core Course), Executive MBA
2005-2010 Managing Professional Service Firms (Elective), MBA
1998-2007 Co-Organizer and Speaker of the Forum on ,Managing Professional Service Firms’, University of St. Gallen
2003-2006 Strategic Management, Global Executive MBA (Omnium)
2001-2005 Strategic Management, Executive MBA in Business Engineering & Executive MBA in Logistics & Technology Management
Research Grants (since 2005)
2019-today Industry Consortium on Platforms and Ecosystems with Credit Suisse, Klöckner, Novartis, and Zürich Insurance, 320.000 CHF for 2 years
2020 Research Fund (GFF) of University of St. Gallen, about 100.000 CHF, for research on “Corporate Turaround Actions”
2010-2013 Swiss National Fund (SNF), "Managing Corporate Programs", 320.863 CHF
2009-2011 Regula & Fredy Lienhard Foundation, "Responsible Corporate Competitiveness & Responsible Leadership", 300.000 CHF
2010 Research Fund (GFF) of the University of St. Gallen, "Activity Systems and their Renewal", 95.000 CHF
2006-2008 Industry Consortium with 5 major European corporations, "Strategy Process Modes for Growth Initiatives", 160.000 CHF
2008 Basic Research Fund (GFF) of the University of St. Gallen, 2008, "Exploring Corporate Programs", 40.000 CHF
2005-2006 Industry Consortium with 4 major European corporations, "Shaping Strategy Processes", 80.000 CHF
2021 Finalist for the Best Conference Paper Award of the Strategic Management Society for the article: “How to stand out from the Crowd: Detecting Patterns in App Endorsements on the App-Store”, together with Maximilian Dexheimer
2020 Finalist for the “Managerial Practice Award” of the Academy of Management Review, for the article: “Resolving the paradox of interdependency and strategic renewal in activity systems”, together with Daniel Albert & Markus Kreutzer
2010 Best Lecturer Award, MBA Program, University of St. Gallen
2008 Best Lecturer Award, MBA Program, University of St. Gallen
2006 Winner of the Sumantra Ghoshal Research and Practice Award of the Academy of Management (together with Karolin Marx and Steven Floyd)
2006 Distinguished Paper Award of the Business Policy and Strategy Division, Academy of Management (together with Karolin Marx and Steven Floyd)
2005 Winner of the “SMS Best Conference Paper Award” of the Strategic Management Society (together with Steven Floyd)
2004 Finalist for the “SMS Best Conference Paper Award” of the Strategic Management Society (together with Dovev Lavie and Harbir Singh)
2001 Winner of the CapGemini Ernst&Young Award for the ,Best German Business Book’ for the book: “Strategisches Management: Wie Strategische Initiativen zum Wandel führen”, Stuttgart: Schäffer-Pöschel (together with Günter Müller-Stewens)
1999 Winner of the Dr. Peter-Werhahn-Price for Outstanding Achievements in Business Administration and Philosophy of Science, University of St. Gallen
1992/93 Scholarship, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Master in Economics, USA
Christoph Lechner has published ten books as well as numerous journal articles in international recognized Business Journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Business Research, Long Range Planning, MIT Sloan Management Review, Wall Street Journal, European Business Forum, Harvard Business Manager, Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft, Organisationsentwicklung, and others. Furthermore, he is member of the Editorial Boards of the Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, Long Range Planning, and Journal of Strategy & Management.