In 1957 the first steps were taken towards the creation of IESE, which was founded in 1958 in Barcelona as the graduate business school of the University of Navarra. Initially, the school offered an array of executive education programs for managers, at a time when the concept of executive education was scarcely known outside of the United States.
The establishment of these programs, aimed mainly at experienced business leaders, constituted a landmark in the history of executive education in Europe. Since then, more than 32,000 people have taken part in such programs.Europe's First Two-Year MBA.
The school launched its MBA program in 1964, under the guidance of an advisory committee set up by Harvard Business School and IESE. It became the first two-year MBA program in Europe, drawing students from all over the world. The Harvard-IESE Committee continues to meet annually to discuss matters of mutual interest and relevance.
In 1993, in response to a rapidly globalizing environment, IESE began forging joint-programs with a number of top U.S. business schools to offer open-enrollment and customized programs. The world was growing too complex, interconnected, and global for any single business school to claim to have all the answers. Partner schools have included Harvard Business School, Stanford, MIT Sloan School of Management and the University of Michigan Business School.
The tradition of collaborating with leading schools to offer high-caliber programs with a trans-Atlantic perspective continues today.
In addition to these open-enrollment programs, the school has become a leading player in offering customized programs for executives, serving such prominent clients as Bertelsmann, Boeing, Henkel, Sun Microsystems, Telefonica and Visteon.The school also launched the Global Executive MBA program, which integrates the latest distance learning technology with residential modules on three continents. Participants include experienced executives who are working all over the world.
Following the expansion of the Madrid campus in 2004, IESE inaugurated in 2007 new buildings at its Barcelona campus and established offices in New York. The school also has facilities in Munich and Sao Paulo. The new facilities will help IESE to provide the best possible services to companies and executives as well as create an important legacy for future generations. The King and Queen of Spain officially inaugurated the new Barcelona campus in January, 2007. The new buildings contain state-of-the-art learning facilities, equipped with the latest technology.