June 23rd 2014

Customer, Markets & Talents.

From the old railway to an innovative enterprise.
Christian Kern, CEO, ÖBB Holding AG

Visitors to this year’s Alumni Weekend on June 13-14 were again treated to a number of excellent presentations given by visiting speakers. The opening talk on the Friday was given by Christian Kern, CEO of ÖBB Holding AG.

He gave his audience an interesting insight into the challenges facing the railways today.

His recipe for success is always to be one step ahead of the market, with know-how and innovation as the decisive factors for a positive performance.

ÖBB Holding AG is a company with a long history, although Christian Kern is well aware of the fact that that alone cannot be the basis for future success. For him, the company’s innovative power is a critical instrument for the further development of its potential.

“The ÖBB is also an enterprise and as such requires entrepreneurial thinking and behavior,” said the CEO, who believes that all decisions have to be based on their commercial implications. For him, a non-political mentality within the company is essential if it is to achieve its full potential.

In the last few years a number of reorganizational measures have been taken that in some cases have met with opposition. In spite of that, the ÖBB has developed into a successful company in the recent past. According to the speaker, the number of ÖBB customers and their level of satisfaction are higher than ever before, and productivity at Austrian Railways is outstanding at the European level. The CEO is determined to further consolidate the ÖBB’s position in the future and to move up to join the leaders in Europe in terms of profitability, economy and punctuality.

The CEO of the ÖBB is optimistic about the future and sees further potential for corporate growth in people’s changing mobility habits.

Dr. Andreas Mehrle chaired the event, which culminated in a lively discussion.