From Business to Executive Education
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From Business to Executive Education

Nicolas Lemoine, former CEO AT&T France, discusses why he left industry for education

Friday 21 April 2017


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When I closed the door to my office as CEO of AT&T France for the final time last year, I was swamped by unexpected emotions, but not those I was expecting.

I was leaving a fantastic company, an incredibly competent team, and great trusting relationships with both my clients and my US management who, while keeping a (sharp) eye on results, were nonetheless exemplary in supporting me in my duties.

I should have felt like I was at the end of something, should have experienced the fear of a leap into the great unknown, but I was actually imbued with a logical and wonderful sense of continuity: that of pursuing my career in a changing world, serving clients, and enjoying doing so, only this time in the field of education with HEC Paris!

Accompanying a changing world.

Technology has evolved at breakneck speed these past 25 years, and serving a client has meant keeping pace with that, staying close to your business, and designing a service around the value that it produces.

The world of executive education is now part of this same dynamic!

Companies expect programs to be tailored to their particular context, flexible because of their ever-evolving strategies, and with a real, long-lasting impact on their managers and their business. Each client meeting is a mission of discovery that challenges our responsiveness and creativity, and allows us to develop innovative training engineering systems that are increasingly influenced by new digital technologies. And nothing is to be taken for granted – it is crucial to call ourselves perpetually into question because the environment is always shifting: exciting times!


Serving clients

AT&T’s motto is ‘Outstanding and effortless customer experience’. A telecoms network can suffer no approximations, and this is also true of training programs. At HEC Paris, I was won over by the school’s slogan, ‘The more you know, the more you dare’. From educational engineering to the smallest logistical detail, everything contributes to the goals set by our clients: fueling participants’ thought processes and actions in order to maximize the expected impact, developing skills to consolidate experience, and boldly opening up the field of possibilities.


Serious fun

None of this would be possible without a committed, positive, diverse and professional team. You’ll have gathered by now that I left just such a team behind at AT&T, and found another one at HEC Paris. In some ways they are very different, but also very similar in terms of values, amongst which trust and ‘serious fun’ are of prime importance.

HEC Paris, a leading global institution

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