Frank Appel, born in 1961, has been head of Deutsche Post since 2008. Born in Hamburg, he has to cope with the fact that people are writing fewer letters. But Appel is betting on online trade as well as globalisation - both of which are providing the DHL Group with more parcels, freight and express shipments. Appel, who holds a doctorate in neurobiology, first worked as a McKinsey consultant before joining Swiss Post in 2000.
Rainer Beaujean, born in 1968, started at Deutsche Telekom after studying business administration and became CEO of the internet provider T-Online in 2004. He then changed industries several times, working for a crane manufacturer and a packaging specialist. In 2019 he joined the Munich-based TV company Pro Sieben Sat 1, in March 2020 he became CEO and is now changing the strategy, back to the core business, is the motto.
Sophie Boissard sees herself as a companion in the life of the modern man. A graduate of the University of Ena, she has worked for French politicians, then for the SNCF railway group. Since 2016, she has been head of the nursing home operator Korian. This is perhaps the most difficult task, because it is about the last stage of a person's life. She knows about the bad image of the industry. She wants to change that.
Roland Busch, born in 1964, is the first physicist to head Siemens in many years, and that means something. The two-metre man, who has been working for the company for over 25 years and keeps fit with weight training, talks more about digital factories and artificial intelligence than about share prices and the capital market. Back to the roots, then. Back to the roots of the old industrial group.
Thomas de Buhr, born in 1968, formulated one of his guiding principles while still head of Germany at Twitter: "Can you ever be satisfied with what you've achieved? No way!" De Buhr sticks to this maxim - since 2018 he has been responsible for DAZN in the German-speaking region and is driving the expansion of the streaming business in sports with verve. He makes it clear on Twitter that de Buhr is not only connected to sport: proud husband & dad is written on his profile. That comes first.
Melissa di Donato, born in 1973, has spent her entire career in IT. Via IBM, Oracle, Salesforce and SAP, she finally came to Suse in 2019. Born in the US, she is the first woman to head the open source company and has brought about a number of cultural changes there. In her adopted home of the UK, she was ranked among the ten most influential women in the tech industry for years.
Carsten Knobel, born in 1969, is a true Henkel man. That's what the employees of the Dax company around brands like Persil, Pritt or Schwarzkopf like to call themselves. Knobel, who was born in Marburg, joined Henkel in 1995 after completing his studies, made a career in the cosmetics division and joined the executive board in 2012. Since 2020, the father of two has led the Düsseldorf-based company, the majority of which still belongs to the founding family.
Carla Kriwet, born in 1971, studied business administration and then worked at Linde, Drägerwerk and Philips. There she was most recently a member of the Group Executive Board, based in Boston, before moving to BSH-Hausgeräte, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bosch, as the new head of the company. Kriwet is also involved with Save the Children.
Dirk Messner, born in 1962, has been President of the Federal Environment Agency since January 2020. He studied political science and economics at Freie Universität Berlin and Sogang University in Seoul. Habilitated in Berlin with the thesis "Challenges of Globalization in South America." He later became director of the German Development Institute, vice president of the United Nations University in Bonn and was a member of the German government's Scientific Advisory Board on Global Change for 15 years. Messner is convinced that the CO2 price for coal, oil and gas must rise significantly in order to achieve the climate targets.
Tina Müller, born in 1968, started as a trainee at cosmetics manufacturer L'Oréal in 1993 after studying business and economics, then worked for Wella and Henkel. In 2013, she surprisingly moved to Opel as head of marketing, where she became the first woman on the carmaker's board of management and repositioned the brand, among other things with the sensational "Umparken im Kopf" campaign. Since the end of 2017, she has been CEO of the Douglas perfumery chain.
The Swede Niklas Östberg, born in 1980, founded Delivery Hero in Berlin ten years ago - a global online network for ordering food. In 2021, the company wants to re-enter the German market with a quick-commerce offer.
He leads a unicorn at the reins: Hanno Renner, born in 1990, is the boss and co-founder of Personio. The industrial engineering graduate built the start-up, which has developed an operating system for HR management, especially for SMEs, with four colleagues in Munich in 2015. In 2019, a consulting firm predicted a billion-dollar valuation, unicorn status in founder-speak, within two years. In January 2021, this goal was achieved. The next is to become an SAP for HR professionals.
He has conquered the long-distance bus market with his company: André Schwämmlein, born in 1981, founded the market leader Flixbus with two university friends. The industrial engineer gained his expertise in his own IT consulting firm KS Consulting and then as a strategy consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.
Born in 1966, he has been at the helm of the Lufthansa Group since 1 May 2014. The industrial engineer and Airbus A320 captain began his career in management in 1994. Before becoming CEO, he headed the flight business under the Lufthansa brand for three years. Spohr is responsible, among other things, for setting up the low-cost division Eurowings. Getting Lufthansa through the Corona pandemic, in which air traffic temporarily collapsed, is his biggest task to date.
Eva van Pelt can talk about pipette tips with enthusiasm. A system-relevant product in the pandemic, for example for evaluating corona tests. The Hamburg family-owned company Eppendorf, of which she is co-chairwoman, manufactures such products and many others that are needed in laboratories. She has adopted the founders' mission to improve people's living conditions.
Ralf Wintergerst, born in 1962, has been CEO of Giesecke + Devrient since 2016. He has worked for the group, which specialises in banknotes, smart cards and IT security, since 1998. Giesecke + Devrient produces around five billion banknotes a year in 80 to 100 currencies around the world. Wintergerst holds several offices in cyber security and is a member of the executive committee of the digital association Bitkom. The business economist practised karate as a competitive sport in his younger years; he was German champion several times and became European champion in 1990. "In karate you fight alone, in your job you fight together," he says.
The conference of the Süddeutsche Zeitung sees itself as a platform for the exchange of experience between top managers and top politicians at the highest level. Find out more about the reports, features and interviews surrounding the conference on sz.de
you will find selected videos from the 2020 Summit in the media library. We have also compiled impressions of the live production on site for you.
The SZ-Wirtschaftsgipfel Salon brings the Wirtschaftsgipfel community together throughout the year and discusses selected topics in a salon atmosphere.