Certificate in Business Leadership for IT Executives

Program Dates

Half-day of Instruction, Module 1, Orientation, and Welcome Dinner

Full-day of Instruction, Modules 2 & 3, and Networking Dinner

Full-day of Instruction, Modules 4 & 5, and Networking Reception


UCI Paul Merage School of Business
Directory of Hotels with UCI Rates


$3,995 (inquire for group pricing)

  • 3-day program
Available Soon

Today’s Technology Leaders – Tomorrow’s Business Leaders

UCI’s Center for Digital Transformation and Office of Executive Education in partnership with Trace3 bring together the brightest minds from academia, IT and business to educate tomorrow’s technology savvy business leaders.

"Companies are undergoing extensive digital transformations and technology has become the foundation for new business models, with implications for business, employment, privacy, and more. In the midst of that shift, digital business skills are of paramount importance. Recent moves underscore the notion that today’s leading technology chiefs have a shot at being tomorrow’s chief executives.” (The Wall Street Journal, June 2017)

To succeed, today’s IT leaders must also become business leaders. This two-and-a-half day program builds a foundation of business knowledge and the professional network required to drive competitive advantages for your organization. It complements and builds on a year-long series of quarterly learning events, resources, and UCI’s Road to Reinvention conference.


This program caters specifically to technology executives who want to enhance their business and management skillset and be better prepared to lead their organizations through the evolving landscape. 

Program includes course materials, parking permits, welcome dinner, breakfast, lunch, valuable networking opportunities, and certificate of completion from UCI's Paul Merage School of Business.


Digital Transformation: A Business Imperative

Leaders are managing in a world of constant change and must be well versed in the emerging technology landscape. Whether it is reinventing your business model, securing your assets, protecting your incumbent status (going on the offensive), acquiring the right talent or deriving business value from AI and machine learning, leaders need to understand how technology is disrupting business models and creating competitive advantages.

Business Strategy

The business strategy module is designed to broaden your perspective and develop strategic thinking capabilities to make your organization more competitive. The approach of the module is practical and problem-oriented and distills and applies the latest strategic insights and approaches to assessing competition in an industry and evaluating competitive strategy. By understanding the forces driving competition in the industry, a strategic perspective can be gained on what drives competitive behavior and the basis for value creation.


Technology is disrupting age-old business models and is breaking down barriers to entry. Innovation is a necessity to compete in today’s business landscape. Venture Capital is creating billion-dollar companies at a historic rate. How, why and where they invest is more important to existing companies than ever before. Avoiding disruption and leveraging innovations before your competitors, gives your company the competitive advantage necessary to compete and win. In this module, corporate engagement and use of open vs. closed innovation sources is discussed. Frameworks go from idea to evaluation, to development, to launch and to growth, and are matched to case studies. The CIO or technology executive will evolve from an enabler of change to a driver of growth.

Think Like a CFO

Revenue and profit is the lifeblood of a company. Where revenue comes from and how is it turned into profit can vary widely from company to company and is critical to decision-making. Understanding a P&L statement leads to strategic decision-making success. Combining your company’s business model and performance is imperative to being an effective leader in the organization. This module focuses on gaining familiarity with financial statements and metrics, understanding how they are used to measure performance, diagnose problems, and identify opportunities; determining how to set priorities among competing capital projects; learning to make intelligent investment decisions; and improving your ability to communicate ideas persuasively to finance professionals.

Power, Influence, and Communication

This module explores how leaders use power, influence, and communication to achieve organizational commitment and effectiveness. Concepts include: identifying the social principles that underlie cooperation and compliance and illustrating how to implement persuasion tactics to maximize the impact of your messages will be discussed.


Interactive learning lessons are designed and delivered by renowned professors from the top-ranked UCI Paul Merage School of Business and thought leaders, venture capitalists, and executives from the largest companies in the world. Participants are provided hands-on exercises, work in groups to promote collaboration and networking, and receive practical tools and frameworks that can be applied immediately.


Christopher Bauman, PhD Christopher Bauman
Associate Professor of Organization and Management
PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago

Vijay Gurbaxani, PhD Vijay Gurbaxani
Taco Bell Endowed Professor of Information Systems and Computer Science
Faculty Director, Center for Digital Transformation
PhD, University of Rochester

Christopher Schwarz, PhD Christopher Schwarz
Associate Professor of Finance
Faculty Director, Center for Investment and Wealth Management
PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Lawrence Wilk, MBA Lawrence Wilk
Board Member, Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneur-in-Residence, UCI Center for Applied Innovation
MBA, Harvard Business School


Philip Potloff, Chief Digital Officer, Edmunds Philip Potloff
Head of Enterprise Strategy, Amazon Web Services

Philip joined AWS as Enterprise Strategist in July 2017. In this role Philip works with enterprise technology executives to share experiences and strategies for how the cloud can help them increase speed and agility while devoting more of their resources to their customers. Prior to joining AWS, Philip held multiple senior executive positions at including CIO and COO. During his 12-year tenure, Philip led the transformation of the car shopping website's technology infrastructure and product development methodologies. This included a successful all-in cloud migration to AWS that was completed in 2016 resulting in a 30% reduction in total IT expenditures. In 2017, Philip was recognized as one of Computerworld’s Premier 100 Technology Leaders for extending the influence of the technologist’s role to include digital transformation and business model innovation.

Julie Sokol Julie Sokol
SVP of Information & Marketing Technology, Irvine Company

Julie Sokol is SVP of Information & Marketing Technology at Irvine Company. In her role, she is responsible for the overall performance and delivery of technology across the company. This includes leading and managing the Company’s technology operations, infrastructure, security, project portfolio and business support functions, as well as leadership of the Innovation team, which leverages emerging technology to drive product and process change across the enterprise and with the organization’s services and product offerings. Additionally, she is responsible for the Marketing Technology function which includes stewardship of much of the company’s digital strategy and assets.