Our Mission / Our Origin

Our History

CEDEP, also known as The European Centre for Executive Development (in French, Le Centre Européen d’Education Permanente), was founded over 50 years ago by a group of European companies as an executive education club. It was among the first corporate-founded membership institution in Europe dedicated to executive education. 

In its early years, faculty at CEDEP were drawn almost exclusively from INSEAD’s more experienced, notable faculty including, Henri-Claude de Bettignies, Robin Hogarth, Claude Rameau, and Lee Remmers.

The initial impetus for CEDEP was led by L’Oréal’s head of Human Resources, Guy Landon, and CEO, François Dalle. They were joined by Antoine Riboud and Jean-Leon Donnadieu (BSN, which later merged with Gervais-Danone), Renaud Gillet (Pricel and Rhone Progil, which became part of the Rhone-Poulenc group), Antoine Bekaert (Bekaert), and René Dunant (Sandoz).

The three main objectives for the founders were to:
(1) expose managers to a mix of cultures and industry contexts;
(2) provide participants with a contrast between the theories and practice of management;
(3) create a force for change within their companies by establishing a critical amount of managers
who share key educational experience.

The CEDEP campus was opened in 1971 by the then French Finance Minister, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who became France’s President just three years later. Designed by a contemporary French architect, Bernard de la Tour d’Auvergne, who also helped design the original buildings on the INSEAD campus.  The buildings combine brick and glass to reflect the colors of the surrounding Fontainebleau Forest. The buildings were extended in 2000 with additional wings that conserve the architectural style of the original buildings.

CEDEP’s evolution was greatly influenced by two long-serving directors.

  • From 1971 to 1991: Salvatore Teresi, an INSEAD marketing professor who was also one of CEDEP’s founders, oversaw an expansion in membership to 23 companies that resulted in more than 6,000 participants attending CEDEP’s programmes.
  • From 1991 to 2007: Claude Michaud, Teresi’s deputy director (and also an INSEAD professor) who extended its membership to 20 members, including companies from outside Europe, most notably Tata Steel. It was also under Michaud’s tenure that CEDEP started offering off-campus programmes, in Hong Kong, Singapore, and India.

Under the tenure of Michaud’s successor, Han van Dissel, CEDEP extended its overseas activities, offering off-campus programmes in China, Brazil, Canada and South Korea.

CEDEP directly employs 26 people in programme design, support, and member relationship roles.
Leadership is provided by a Director, who reports to the CEDEP Board, which is appointed by member companies. The current Director is Thomas Hinterseer.


Past Directors