He has been steering the civil aircraft division at Airbus for five years now. From early 2017, his responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer have also involved the digitisation of the entire Airbus Group. Born in Dijon 1961, he has been working in the aircraft industry since 1993; he was responsible for the helicopter unit at Airbus amongst others. Jens Flottau
As Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser’s most trusted board member, she was appointed the concern’s Labour Director in February 2015. Born in 1970, the mother of twins joined Siemens in 2001 and was soon posted to Milan where she became Head of Personnel for Siemens in Italy. Following a staging post at Osram, Kaeser brought her back to Siemens in the fall of 2013 as Head of Management Development before promoting her to the Board of Directors shortly after. Christoph Giesen
The doctor of neurobiology (born 1961) began his career at the business consultants McKinsey where he already worked for the Deutsche Post. In 2000 he transferred to the former state-owned enterprise and two years later became a member of the Executive Board. When Klaus Zumwinkel was forced to resign in 2008 due to a tax scandal, Appel became the new CEO of the Bonn-based concern with its half a million employees worldwide. Caspar Busse
Freya Oehle, born in 1989, was offered the chance to work for a business consultancy firm following her studies. However, she would have had to be prepared to do unpleasant chores for the first three years, she was told. Oehle refused and founded Spottster with a school pal instead; an app that tracks prices for its users in more than 5,500 online shops. After three and a half years, however, Oehle and her co-founder called it a day at the end of May 2017: integrating into online shops took too long, the start-up didn’t scale up. Currently, Oehle is dissolving her company – and founding another one may just be on the cards. Katharina Kutsche
A book with the title “Why the World Doesn’t Exist”, is quite a statement. The philosopher Markus Gabriel, born in 1980, landed a hit with the work. His school of thought is called “New Realism”. He rejects the existence of a world in which everything is connected to everything, instead there are many different worlds and realities in the form of excepts existing next to each other. In 2009 Gabriel was Germany’s youngest professor of philosophy to be appointed to the Chair for Epistemology, Modern and Contemporary Philosophy at the University of Bonn. He has long been considered one of the most important contemporary German philosophers. Jan Willmroth
His father was a bricklayer, his mother a cleaning lady. He rose from being an apprentice at Hoechst via second-chance education to become the new head of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB). A model curriculum vitae for a worker’s leader. However, the SPD member hasn’t succumbed to black and white thinking. The economist wants to recruit more higher earners to the trade unions – a long road, even for a long distance runner. Thomas Öchsner
Trail Blazers – the Founder Prize of the SZ Economic Summit
In 2016 the Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Economic Summit held the first edition of its start-up competition “Trail Blazer”, with awards going to Germany’s best company founders. The winner: Adheysys Medical. In the final: Seven additional, fantastic companies. Find out everything about the competition and the next round in 2017.
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