Prof. Dr.

Christoph Lechner

Professor of Strategic Management

Christoph is a chaired professor of strategic management at the University of St. Gallen, director of its Institute of Management & Strategy (IoMS-HSG) 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.

Prof. Dr. Christoph Lechner

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).





1999-2004 Habilitation in Strategic Management University of St.Gallen, Switzerland
1995-1999 Ph.D. in Strategic Management University of St.Gallen, Switzerland
1989-1995 Business administration degree (MBA) University of Augsburg, Germany
1992-1993 Master of Arts in Economics Wayne State University, USA
1987-1989 “Qualified Banker” Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Augsburg, Germany
1977-1986 Secondary Education Grammar School, St. Stephan, Augsburg, Germany

Academic Employment




2004–today Chaired Professor of Strategic Management & Director at the IoMS-HSG University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
2003–today Professor of Strategic Management Bocconi University, Italy; EM Lyon (France); ESMT (Germany) and University of Mannheim (Germany)
2019 Guest Professor Paul Merage School of Business, University of California Irvine, USA
2009 Guest Professor IAE Business School, Austral University, Argentina
2003 Guest Professor The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA
2002 Guest Professor School of Business, University of Connecticut, USA
1998-2002 Senior Lecturer of Strategic Management University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
1995-1998 Research Assistant Institute of Management & Strategy, University of St.Gallen, Switzerland

Non-Academic Employment



2006-today Member of the Board of Directors of Helvetia (insurance), listed at Swiss Stock Exchange
2001-2019 Vice Chairman of Hügli (food), listed at Swiss Stock Exchange – sold to Bell Food in 2019
2001-2019 Founding partner of Swiss VBS (digital visualization), Toronto/ Canada (sold in 2019 to Swedish BTS Group)
1987-1995 Various Positions at Deutsche Bank Group: Vocational Program, Corporate Banking, Assistant of Managing Director (Germany); Corporate Finance (Singapore)
1986-1987 Military Service (Mandatory), Music Corps 10, French Horn Player, Germany

Professional Positions (University)




2020–today Member of the Supervisory Board Institute of Business Informatics, University of St.Gallen
2016–today Academic Director of the “Master of Business Management” program University of St.Gallen, Switzerland
2007–today Member of the Supervisory Board Institute for Insurance Economics (I.VW), University of St.Gallen, Switzerland
2004–today Member of the Assembly of the School of Management and Senate University of St.Gallen, Switzerland




Awarding organization

2021 Finalist for the Best Conference Paper Award (together with Maximilian Dexheimer): How to stand out from the Crowd: Detecting Patterns in App Endorsements on the App-Store Strategic Management Society
2020 Finalist for the “Managerial Practice Award” with the title: “Resolving the paradox of interdependency and strategic renewal in activity systems”, together with Daniel Albert & Markus Kreutzer Academy of Management Review
2010 Best Lecturer Award, MBA Program University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
2008 Best Lecturer Award, MBA Program University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
2006 Winner of the Sumantra Ghoshal Research and Practice Award of the Business Policy and Strategy Division Academy of Management
2006 Distinguished Paper Award of the Business Policy and Strategy Division Academy of Management
2005 Winner of the SMS Best Conference Paper Award, International Conference Strategic Management Society
2004 Finalist for the SMS Best Conference Paper Award, International Conference Strategic Management Society
2001 ‘Best German Business Book’ for the book: “Strategisches Management: Wie Strategische Initiativen zum Wandel führen” CapGemini Ernst&Young Award
1999 Winner of the Dr. Peter-Werhahn-Price for Outstanding Achievements in Business Administration and Philosophy of Science University of St.Gallen, Switzerland
1992-1993 German Academic Exchange Service scholarship, Master in Economics DAAD, USA

Teaching on Bachelor, Master and PhD level




2022 Alliances, Digital Platforms & Ecosystems (Master in General Management) Master
2017–today Strategic Management Bachelor
2006–today Theoretical Perspectives in Strategy & Management PhD
1999-2010 Managing Professional Service Firms Master
1999-2009 Strategy Process Research PhD
2005-2009 Alliance and Network Strategy Master
2001-2002 Topics in Strategy Master
2001-2002 Perspectives on Organizations Master
2001-2002 Corporate Strategy Master
1999-2001 Cases and Excercises in Business Administration Bachelor
1999-2001 Organizational Capabilities & Resource-based-view of Strategy Bachelor

Teaching on the Executive Education Level




1997–today Lecturer of selected topics in strategic management Public program
1997-2019 Strategic Management Executive MBA
2005-2010 Managing Professional Service Firms MBA
1998-2007 Co-Organizer and Speaker of the Forum on Managing Professional Service Firms University of St.Gallen
2003-2006 Strategic Management Global EMBA
2001-2005 Strategic Management EMBA

Research Grants


Sponsor and topic

Amount of funding

2019-today Industry Consortium on Platforms and Ecosystems with Credit Suisse, Klöckner, Novartis, and Zürich Insurance CHF 320’000
2020 Research Fund (GFF) of University of St. Gallen for research on “Corporate Turaround Actions” CHF 100’000
2010-2013 Swiss National Fund (SNF), “Managing Corporate Programs” CHF 320’863
2009-2011 Regula & Fredy Lienhard Foundation, “Responsible Corporate Competitiveness & Responsible Leadership” CHF 300’000
2010 Research Fund (GFF) of the University of St. Gallen, “Activity Systems and their Renewal” CHF 95’000
2006-2008 Industry Consortium with 5 major European corporations, “Strategy Process Modes for Growth Initiatives” CHF 160’000
2008 Basic Research Fund (GFF) of the University of St. Gallen, 2008, “Exploring Corporate Programs” CHF 40’000
2005-2006 Industry Consortium with 4 major European corporations, “Shaping Strategy Processes” CHF 80’000

Invited Research Talks

Bocconi University (Italy), Cass Business School (UK), European Business School EBS (Germany), EM Lyon (France), FU Berlin (Germany), Helsinki University of Technology (Finland), IAE Business School (Universidad Austral, Argentina), IMD (Switzerland), Irvine University (USA), Kelly School of Business (Indiana University, USA), LMU München (Germany), University Zürich (Switzerland), Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania, USA)

Articles in scientific journals


Book sections


Other publications

External Activities



2010 Member of the Conference Committee: “Intersections of Strategy Processes and Strategy Practices”, Strategic Management Society, Lapland (Finland)
2008-today Member of the Editorial Board, Strategic Management Journal
2008-today Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of Management Studies
2008-2013 Affiliate of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Industries Studies Program
2008-2010 Elected Officer, Program Chair & Chairman of the Strategy Process Interest Group, Strategic Management Society
2007-today Member of the Editorial Board, Long Range Planning
2006-today Member of the Association of German Professors of Management (VHB)
2005-2009 Member of the Jury: Annual Best Conference Paper Award, Strategic Management Society
2001-today Member of the Academy of Management
2001 Member of the Conference Committee: “Strategy Process Research”, Strategic Management Society, St. Gallen (Switzerland)
2000-today Reviewer for the Swiss National Foundation (SNF)
2000-2013 Ad-hoc Reviewer for Journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management, Journal of Business Research, Journal of International Business Studies, & Reviewer for conferences such as AoM, SMS, EGOS, or VHB
1998-today Member of the Strategic Management Society


Interviews, Articles & Media Coverage

Bayerischer Rundfunk, Bayerisches Fernsehen, Bilanz, Bloomberg, Cash TV, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Financial Times Deutschland (FT), Harvard Business Manager, Handelsblatt, Handelszeitung, Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), Radio Top (Ostschweiz), Spiegel Online, St. Galler Tagblatt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Stern (Neon), Schweizer Radio DRS & 10vor10, Wall Street Journal, etc.

Srategy Advisory (since 2005)

Such as Corporate Strategy (chemicals), Growth Strategy Asia (Private banking), Growth Initiative (food), Asset Management: global integration of 37 firms (insurance), New Business Model (retail), Reorganization (industrial machinery), Strategy-Audit of Top Management Team (banking), Entry into European Cloud computing market (high-tech), Post-Merger Integration (industry), Restructuring (food), Ecosystem Strategy (premium white goods)

Alexander Göritz

PhD Candidate, Research Associate


Dora Maric

PhD Candidate, Research Associate, Program Coordinator MUG

+41 71 224 23 36

Nadine Eve Rusch-Schenker

Executive Director Master in Business Management (MUG-HSG), PhD Candidate

+41 71 224 39 04

Natasha Senn

Executive Assistant & Marketing

+41 71 224 23 56

Theresa Maria Seehofer

PhD Candidate, Research Associate