Career Story: Wolfgang Sulzgruber, Hutchison Drei Austria GmbH

October 18, 2017

The Global Executive MBA Alumnus and Head of BU Digital Solutions/New Business shares personal insights into his career and MBA experience.

What stages in your life have had the greatest impact on you and why?

The births of my children. It is on occasions such as these that you realize what really matters in life. Professionally speaking, the fact that I spent several years in Australia and in Sweden has had a strong influence on me. During these very interesting times, I have been able not only to broaden my horizons but also to gain invaluable experience of working in international and intercultural business environments.

Did you originally want to pursue a different career? If so, what made you change your plans?

Yes, I did. Like so many others, I originally planned to become a pilot. But, unfortunately, my eyesight was not good enough. I also wanted to be an architect, and while I have never pursued a career in architecture in the traditional sense of the word, I have in recent years been an architect of sorts in that I have designed and developed new business ideas.

How and why did you come to work for Hutchison Drei Austria GmbH?

The industry in general, and Drei in particular, is highly dynamic and innovative, which suits my personality very well. What is more, my position itself has given me the possibility to build up a new business unit in the field of innovation and new business with a view to finding and developing future business opportunities, from coming up with the right ideas to translating them into market success.

What has changed in your career as a result of your MBA degree?

Apart from methods that I was able to directly apply in my job, the things I have learned have broadened my horizons and helped me gain a holistic 360-degree view of the business as a whole. In everything we do, achieving business success is, of course, one of our top priorities, but what is even more important in this context is to always involve all business units concerned and take their needs and requirements into account so as to also achieve long-term value creation.

What has been your biggest professional success?

That depends on which of my positions we are talking about. For one thing, I was involved in successfully entering new markets such as the USA or the APAC region. For another, I helped restructure a loss-making local branch.

What are your goals for the coming year?

That is a difficult question because there are plenty of interesting challenges. But in the coming year, I intend to focus on the profitable development of my business unit and on reaching the ambitious goals we have set ourselves.

What do you consider a “great luxury”?

Time, especially time I can spend with my family.

What was the last book you really enjoyed?

Value Proposition Design (author: Alex Osterwalder, publisher: Wiley)

How would you characterize your philosophy of leadership? Has it been influenced by a leadership role model?

I do not have a leadership role model. My philosophy of leadership is to have a clear understanding of what we want to achieve, to make clear decisions, to involve my team and my colleagues and keep them informed, and to generally communicate in an open, transparent and honest manner.

How do you recharge your batteries when you are not pursuing your demanding career?

By playing sports and by spending time with my family.

If you could change places with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Actually, I would not want to change places with anyone. I am perfectly happy with who I am.

Why would you recommend the Global Executive MBA of the WU Executive Academy? What did you like the most?

Because no matter how experienced you are, the program allows you to gain new perspectives you were not even aware of before—be it as a result of developing your subject-matter expertise or in the course of interacting with lecturers and highly interesting classmates from a wide variety of industries. During the international residencies, you get to experience foreign (business) cultures first-hand and hence learn a lot about them, which is important, especially for professionals with an international focus.


My mottoes in life:
1. Do what you love, and love what you do
2. Love it, change it or leave it
I can laugh about:
Many things and frequently also about myself.
Mistakes I am most likely willing to forgive:

Mistakes made while seriously and honestly trying to do the right thing.

I would spend my last money on:
Making a child laugh.
In 20 years, I will:
Hopefully be healthy, have a happy family, and still enjoy my work as much as I do now.

You can read more interesting career stories here.

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