Global Executive MBA alumnus
What stages in your life have had the greatest impact on you and why?
Starting a family and accepting leadership responsibility for the first time. It was on these occasions that I fully realized what being responsible for others is all about.
Did you originally want to pursue a career in a different field? If so, why is it that nothing has come of your plans?
Originally, I intended to become a priest, which is why, as of the age of 10, I attended Bischöfliches Gymnasium Graz high school. I spent 8 great years there and received a good education during this time. Ultimately, however, I decided against pursuing a career as a clergyman because I was becoming more and more interested in business and engineering.
How and why did you come to work for OTIS?
After almost 10 very interesting years at Xerox, during which time I was active in a wide variety of fields ranging from controlling to sales, I wanted to use my wealth of experience in a different line of business as I was curious to see if this would work. While doing my MBA degree, this desire grew even stronger, and eventually I joined OTIS—a decision I have never regretted for a moment.
What has changed in your career as a result of your MBA degree? How did the program support you in reaching your career goals? What concrete career opportunities have opened up for you?
The knowledge I have gained in the areas of marketing and competitive strategies as well as the field studies in China and the USA have opened up many new horizons for me. Being part of an American multinational conglomerate (United Technologies Corporation), OTIS very much welcomed the fact that I had earned an MBA degree. I was hired as an executive with an international perspective and was subsequently offered great opportunities for development. After almost 4 years at OTIS Austria, I became the head of marketing and sales at OTIS Germany. During my 3 years in this position, I was responsible for the entire new equipment business. Following my time in Germany, I headed OTIS's business activities in South Eastern Europe, which allowed me to get to know a completely different market environment. Since April 1, 2014, I have been the chairman of the management board of OTIS Austria. In this capacity, I am in charge of both overall business operations and a workforce of some 500 employees.
What was your biggest professional/personal success?
Being appointed as the chairman of the management board of OTIS Austria has no doubt been my biggest professional success so far.
What are your goals for the coming year? Your goals in general? Is there still something you absolutely want to do?
My goal for the coming years is to help OTIS grow further and to successfully establish the new "building and industrial systems" business unit on the Austrian building technologies market.
What do you consider a “great luxury“?
Being able to live for the moment on weekends—with no appointments to keep, no schedule to meet and no agenda to follow.
What was the last book you really enjoyed?
I really enjoyed and got a lot out of reading "The Winning Spirit" by Joe Montana. Taking the world of sports (American football) as a starting point, the book presents principles you should adhere to in order to achieve executive success.
How would you characterize your philosophy of leadership? Has it been influenced by a leadership role model?
My philosophy of leadership, or rather, my leadership style can best be characterized as "target-oriented", "team-oriented", "communicative", "client-oriented", "foresighted" and "innovative". While I do not have a role model as far as leadership is concerned, I carefully watch my superiors to see not only how they handle different situations and challenges but also how they make decisions and communicate with people.
How do you recharge your batteries when you are not pursuing your demanding career?
I regularly play sports (running and swimming) and afterward take a steam bath to relax. I call this "wellness sports".
If you could change places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
Why would you recommend the Global Executive MBA of the WU Executive Academy? What did you like the most?
Because it is an extremely well organized program with a top faculty. The Financial Times ranking clearly reflects the quality of the Executive MBA (Global). I enjoyed the marketing module and the field studies the most.