Michael Hathorn

Affiliated Professor of Management



  • International business professional with over 20 years experience in business strategy, organizational change, innovation and leadership development
  • Proactive “intrapreneurial” leadership style with a demonstrated ability to lead complex change initiatives undertaken by multinational teams in small and large organizations
  • Established record of working creatively with management to raise productivity and quality through organizational, training and leadership development processes
  • Adjunct business professor with a focus on applying theory to business practice


Optimis, Human Capital Management Geneva
Partner in Strategy and OD Practices Nov. 2005 to Present
Optimis is a strategy consulting firm that provides a broad range of human capital management services to public and private sector organizations. The firm has operations in Switzerland, London and Asia bringing together a dedicated team of senior business professionals with deep expertise in the development and implementation of business strategies, human resource solutions and strategic change programs for public and private sector organizations.


TNT N.V. Amsterdam
Group Director Oct. 2004 to Oct. 2005
Leadership and Organisational Development
TNT N.V. is a Fortune 500, publicly listed company in the logistics, mail and express industry sectors with annual turnover in excess of Euro 13 billion. It has operations in 65 countries worldwide and employs a workforce of more than 165,000. Accomplished the following in three areas of emphasis:

Leadership and Management Development

  • Created a Leadership Development strategy and framework targeting the top 1000 employees at TNT and linked this initiative with complementary projects in talent management and performance management.
  • Launched a key program on “Leading High Performing Teams”, starting with the Board of Management and then extending it to senior teams in Europe and Asia, involving 100+ senior managers in the period February to June.
  • Audited the existing Management Development programs and drove a series of changes which resulted in greater consistency across programs, a focus on applied learning and the creation of cross divisional participant networks.
  • Managed a supplier network comprised of top academic institutions and leading consultancy firms.

Organizational Development and Change
Worked with an external consultancy firm to identify organizational and systemic changes that needed to be addressed at current stage of TNT’s development.

Established a Change Management Center of Expertise (COE) to identify and leverage best practice across the organization. The initial focus of the change management team was twofold:

  • Providing change management assistance to the five senior program directors for a high priority cross-divisional TNT1 project, whereby synergies were sought for specific areas across divisions
  • Development of a change process and relevant tools for Mergers and Acquisitions while participating as part of the team on a recent post merger integration.

Defined a company wide Engagement Survey project to measure senior executive performance on managing human capital and the organizational climate. Launched benchmark survey to a random sample in February 2005 to be followed by a company wide survey in December 2005.

HR Functional Development
Sponsored and guided the TNT HR Functional Excellence change initiative with a key focus on two areas:

  • Established a common job grading structure for the 2000+ HR professionals across three company divisions.
  • Created a comprehensive and integrated HR Development program for HR strategy leaders, HR functional leaders and HR professionals.

As a member of the TNT Global HR Council contributed to the development and promotion of a company wide HR strategy linked to business strategy.


Capital International, S.A. - Geneva and London
European Training Manager June 1997 to June 2004
Management Development and Training
Capital International is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Capital Group of Companies and focuses primarily on managing institutional pension portfolios for a global clientele.

Strategy and Productivity

  • Developed and implemented the European management development and training strategy encompassing all training and development activity for Capital in Europe.
  • In each successive year, increased productivity of the European training function under conditions of rapid business growth, and influenced significantly the productivity of the global management development and training function.
  • Managed a total budget of $1.1 million and a staff of 5 split between Geneva and London, reducing costs by 15% in fiscal year 2003.
  • Monitored perceived quality and business impact of training activities.
  • Achieved consistent ranking as one of the best performing service departments in Capital’s internal client polls, administered every 18 months.

Functional Oversight and Governance

  • Served on the European Operations Committee, the Distance Learning Group and the Training Technology Steering Committee.
  • Met annually with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in London and demonstrated legal compliance on the training and competence requirements.
  • Led the European Training Advisory Group and the Training Action Groups for Europe. Monitored and interpreted results of ongoing organizational and training needs analysis.

Program and Development Highlights

  • Created a management development program for the 50 member management team in Europe with a mix of internal and external facilitators and integrated the programs globally.
  • Sourced and managed the external facilitator network in Geneva and London which provided training and development services to Capital in the areas of technical skills, professional skills and management development.
  • Led the development and facilitated (with senior management) numerous management/department retreats and organizational development exercises.
  • Managed the training component of business critical IT project implementations.
  • Co-designed and facilitated workshops in the technical and non-technical areas of the business.

Team Management and Leverage

  • Recruited, trained and managed the Geneva and London based teams of five training associates to plan, organize and administer the training activity.
  • Engaged line managers and supervisors in the development and delivery of key technical and industry programs.


PLM Consultancy USA, London, Vienna, Geneva
Principal July 1984 to May 1997
Marketed consultancy and financial services internationally to profit and nonprofit organisations. A partial list of major clients includes Capital International, the Chinese Ministry of Labor, Arab Bank Limited (London), Creditanstalt Bank of Austria (Vienna),
Webster University and National Medical Enterprises Corporation. Some typical assignments as follows:

  • Hired as a consultant in early 1997 to conduct a training needs analysis, propose a strategic training plan and begin implementing high priority elements of the plan for the London and Geneva offices of Capital International in Europe.
  • Developed and implemented training modules on business strategy and business management for the 1996 and 1997 Executive Management program for the Chinese Ministry of Labor. Program involved training senior level Chinese managers in modern management practices and in the application of strategic management principles to the banking, telecommunications and transportation industries.
  • Facilitated team exercises in Lausanne for the organizational behavior component of the IMD Program for Executive Development (PED) in 1995 and 1996.
  • Marketed and delivered a series of management training seminars on market analysis, financial planning and total quality management for middle-level managers at Creditanstalt Bank in Vienna.
  • Managed the project to design and deliver the “Arab Bank Program for Bankers,” an in-house corporate training and business development program for the London branch of Arab Bank, Ltd.


PhD 2017 (Feb.) University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
M.S. Marketing 1984 Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
B.A. Political Science 1980 Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

A continuing education emphasis on business and human resource strategy, innovation,
organizational development and leadership in organizations.

Dual national: US and Swiss. Resident in Switzerland since 1994. Married with one
child. Excellent health. Born June 1, 1957.