Jean-Claude Larréché

Jean-Claude “JC” Larreche (born 3 July 1947) is Emeritus Professor at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France, where he held the Alfred H. Heineken Chair of Marketing from 1993 to 2018.[1] His academic and business activities are focused on building the fundamental capabilities required to create corporate value, especially through marketing excellence, customer focus, and value-capture selling.

He is Founder and President of StratX ExL[2] and of StratX Simulations.[3] StratX ExL organizes and delivers experiential learning seminars on leadership, marketing, and innovation for leading global corporations. StratX Simulations is the provider of world-renowned computerized business learning software, including REVMANEX,[4] Markstrat,[5] Circular Markstrat,[6] Digital Markstrat, Blue Ocean Strategy Simulation,[7] BrandPRO,[8] Digital MediaPRO,[9] and MixPRO.[10]

In addition to his distinguished academic and business career, Larreche is known for his books Value Capture Selling: How to Win the 3rd Sales Transformation (to be published by Wiley in September 2023) and The Momentum Effect: How to Ignite Exceptional Growth, numerous articles and papers, and his pioneering work in business simulations, starting with Markstrat, the leading strategic-marketing simulation, used by more than a million executives worldwide.


Larreche received a degree in engineering (with a major in computer hardware) from INSA Lyon in 1968. He then developed his expertise in computer software and obtained his MSc in Computer Science from the University of London in 1969. He entered the world of business by studying at INSEAD where he received his MBA in 1970. He specialized further in marketing and modeling at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in California where he obtained his PhD in 1974. While pursuing his PhD at Stanford, Larreche continued to pursue his interest in computer science there—taking classes taught by John McCarthy, the father of artificial intelligence. It was at Stanford that he was given the nickname “JC” by his classmates.


Pioneering the development of business simulations

While working as a research assistant at INSEAD after his MBA, in 1970 Larreche was asked to assist L’Oréal assess an MIT-developed computerized marketing model that they were considering purchasing. He was fascinated by it and “decided to investigate the best places in the world to study marketing modeling.”[11] Larreche is quoted as saying that he chose Stanford for his PhD so that he could study under David B. Montgomery, one of the founders of marketing modeling.[12]

Leveraging his dual background in marketing and computer science, and working with his research assistant, Hubert Gatignon, from 1974 to 1977 Larreche further developed his work on marketing modeling to create a teaching simulation called Markstrat (short for “marketing strategy”).[13] Markstrat is a game where teams of students compete against one another in an artificial world under realistic market conditions.[14] The game provides marketing students and professionals alike with a risk-free platform to test decisions around a variety of concepts, including brand positioning, market segmentation, and product portfolios—enabling them to become more effective at creating value in competitive markets. It is claimed that Markstrat is now used in 8 out of the top 10 business schools in the world and 25 of the top 30 schools in the US.[15]

Among other simulations, Larreche also developed DiG – Discovery Innovation Growth—a versatile learning tool to develop competencies in innovation, customer centricity, value-based marketing, business acumen, leadership, and team performance.[16]

More recently, he designed the REVMANEX simulator for sales and negotiations training with a focus on corporate-value creation.[17]

Business activities

In 1983, at the age of just 36, Larreche was appointed to the board of Reckitt & Coleman (now Reckitt Benckiser), London, in a non-executive role after previously working for the firm in a consultancy capacity.[18] He remained on the board for 18 years.

In 1984, he founded StratX to offer business schools and global corporations access to leading-edge computerized experiential learning tools.[19] These activities developed over time, and in 2019 StratX was split into two separate companies: StratX Simulations, offering world-renowned computerized business learning software,[20] and StratX ExL, organizing experiential-learning seminars on leadership, marketing, and innovation for leading global corporations.[21]

Larreche served as a Member of the Board of The MAC Group, Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1986 through 1990, and was a Non-Executive Director for Smartpool, London, from 2008 through 2012.

Throughout his business career, he has consulted for many of the world’s top firms, including Alcan, Boeing, British Broadcasting Corporation, British Telecom, Christian Salvesen, Citibank, Digital Equipment, General Electric, Heineken, Hewlett Packard, IBM, ICI, ICL, IMS, MDM Bank, Merck, Nestlé, Nordea, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Oracle, Partner Re, Pfizer, Polaroid, Randstad, Rank Xerox, Remploy, UBS, Volvo, Zambon, Zeneca, and others.

Academic activities

During the 1990s, Larreche’s work began to concentrate on the underlying capabilities that impact on a business’s ability to compete in the marketplace and to create corporate value. He published a series of reports based on surveys conducted with more than 1,200 executives in hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies.[22] The surveys attempted to define and evaluate the attributes, characteristics, and behaviors of large global firms and assess their impact on corporate performance. That work, combined with computer modeling and his longtime work on customer focus,[23] converged on the concept of “momentum”—an attempt to map out a process for improving the efficiency of a firm’s profitable growth. The culmination of this period of Larreche’s work was the publication in 2008 of the book, The Momentum Effect: How to Ignite Exceptional Growth.

More recently, Larreche has focused his attention on the development of the concept of the 3rd sales transformation and its critical importance to the creation of corporate value in the current global business environment of reduced growth and stronger competition. Larreche’s further development of this concept led to the publication in 2023 of his book, Value Capture Selling: How to Win the 3rd Sales Transformation.

Editorial positions

  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Marketing (1990-1994)
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Experiential Learning and Simulation (1978-82)
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Marketing Research (1975-79)


Larreche has been widely recognized for his academic and business achievements, including being elected as a faculty member representative to the INSEAD Board for 18 cumulative years. In addition, he has received the following awards:

  • 2010 – DCF Award for Best Book in “Corporate Strategy” for French edition of The Momentum Effect (Prix des Dirigeants Commerciaux de France)
  • 2008 – The Momentum Effect, “4th Best Book of 2008,” Amazon USA, Business and Investing category[24]
  • 2005 – Winner, The European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) 2005 Case Writing Competition Category: Entrepreneurship for the 2005 INSEAD case “Arpège: Creative Dining in Paris”
  • 2000 – “Overall European Case of the Year” Award for the First Direct: Branchless Banking case study, European Case Clearing House (ECCH)
  • 1997 – “Best Case of the Year” Award for the First Direct case study in Relationship Marketing category, EFMD
  • 1996 – “Overall European Case of the Year” Award for the Virgin Atlantic Airways case study, ECCH
  • 1995 – Marketing Educator of the Year, Club 55, the European Community of Marketing Experts.[25]
  • 1995 – “Best Case of the Year” Award for the Virgin Atlantic Airways case study in Relationship Marketing category, EFMD

Selected bibliography

Selected books

  • Jean-Claude Larreche (2023). Value Capture Selling: How to Win the 3rd Sales Transformation. Wiley. ISBN 978-1394158584
  • Jean-Claude Larreche (2008). The Momentum Effect: How to Ignite Exceptional Growth. Wharton School Publishing. ISBN 978-0132363426
  • Jean-Claude Larreche, John Mullins, Orville Walker, and Boyd Harper (2006). Marketing Strategy: A Decision-Focused Approach. 5th ed. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0072961904
  • Jean-Claude Larreche (2001). Measuring the Competitive Fitness of Global Firms. Financial Times Press. ISBN 978-0273654346
  • Jean-Claude Larreche and Hubert Gatignon (1977). Markstrat: A Marketing Strategy Game. The Scientific Press. ISBN 978-0894260100
  • Jean-Claude Larreche (1972). Le Basic: Une introduction à la programmation. Editions Eyrolles

Selected articles

  • “Momentum strategy for efficient growth: when the sumo meets the surfer,” International Commerce Review, Autumn 2008, pages 22-34.
  • “Momentum Strategy,” Strategy, No. 16, June 2008, pages 12-16.
  • “Building Marketing Excellence,” with Mario Castaneda and Zohra Jan Mamod, Pfeiffer Leadership Annual 2008, Pfeiffer, 2008.
  • “Momentum,” World Business, No. 14, October 2007, pages 12-18.
  • “Beyond Strategy: Market-based Capabilities,” in Business: The Ultimate Resource, Cambridge USA: Perseus Publishing; London, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2002, pages 87-88.
  • “The Battlefield for 1992: Product Strength and Geographic Coverage,” with Robert Gogel, European Management Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2, June 1989, pages 132-140.
  • “Europe’s Key Marketing Issues for the ’90s,” International Advertiser, Vol. 1, No. 2, May-June 1988, pages 20-23.
  • “On Simulations in Business Education and Research,” Journal of Business Research, Vol. 15, No. 6, December 1987, pages 559-571.
  • “Managerial Judgment in Marketing: The Concept of Expertise,” with Reza Moinpour, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol.20, May 1983, pages 101-121.
  • “STRATPORT: A Model for the Evaluation and Formulation of Business Portfolio Strategies,” with V. Srinivasan, Management Science, Vol. 28, No. 9, September 1982, pages 979-1001.
  • “STRATPORT: A Decision Support System for Strategic Planning,” with V. Srinivasan, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 45, No. 4, Fall 1981.
  • “A Supportive Application of Management Science to Marketing Strategy Formulation,” with E.C. Strong, Omega, Vol. 7, No. 3, 1979, pages 207-218.
  • “Integrative Complexity and the Implementation of Marketing Models,” in R. Doktor, R.L. Schultz, and D.P. Slevin, eds., The Implementation of Management Sciences, Special issue of Management Science, Vol. 13, 1979, pages 171-188.

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