- IMD Business School
Alumni Stories · Strategy

The view from the top

How BPSE helped Luiz Cassiano Rosolen prepare for his new CEO role
March 2015

Today is a special day for Luiz Cassiano Rosolen. - IMD Business School

It’s his first day as CEO of Indústrias Romi, a Brazilian company that produces machine tools, plastic processing machines and castings. And Cassiano says IMD’s Breakthrough Program for Senior Executives (BPSE) played a big part in shaping his strategic choices for the next few years.

Cassiano did BPSE in late 2014, when he was Romi’s CFO. He wanted a C-level program that would help him shape his strategy for Romi’s value chain and better understand how to execute it. He also wanted to discuss his ideas and challenges with equally senior and globally-minded participants.

BPSE was the right choice.

“IMD definitely delivered much more than I was expecting,” Cassiano says. “The high-level discussion and intensive work over the two weeks were unbeatable. It was an extraordinary experience.”

Romi is in the process of significantly improving its performance and also has an increasingly international outlook. The company acquired a machine-producing operation in Germany three years ago and now generates 30% of its sales overseas. It also has subsidiaries in the US, UK, Spain, France and Mexico.

Given these changes, it was vital for Cassiano to establish where the company’s value chain goes from here and what the journey will be like. Crucially, BPSE gave him the thinking time and the top-quality peer discussion he needed to move forward.

“These two weeks took me out from the day-to-day, so I could spend 24 hours thinking about strategy for our value chain,” Cassiano says. “And after BPSE I felt much more confident to implement changes, because I’d had exposure to people at the same level as me and I could see that I was on the correct path.”

BPSE program director Seán Meehan and the other experienced IMD professors on the program were readily available with advice on how Cassiano could pursue his strategic breakthrough. The personal coaching was effective too, helping him to understand his weaknesses and how he could deliver success and leadership for Romi in the future.

Digesting all this input took a few weeks. But during his year-end holiday with his family, he took some time to pull his BPSE insights together and refine his strategy. Then in February, Romi announced that Cassiano would become CEO when the current chief executive, Livaldo Aguiar dos Santos, retired on March 17.

“Being CEO will hopefully give me the opportunity to speed up the implementation. The strategy is already there, so my team will work on the ‘how’,” Cassiano says.

“Our people are much more engaged and confident in the way forward, so it’s very clear to me that BPSE was very valuable,” he says. “IMD has played a big part in developing the choices we have made for the next two years.”

Although Cassiano is now the CEO, his BPSE learning continues; he has his final post-program coaching session in May.

Breakthrough Program for Senior Executives (BPSE) caters to a carefully selected group of senior executives searching for game-changing moves in their business through high-impact strategy and leadership.