November 05th 2013

Factors for success at a global enterprise.

Dr. Stefan Sommer, CEO at ZF Friedrichshafen AG

With 75,000 employees and net sales totaling 17.4 billion euros, ZF Friedrichshafen is the third biggest automotive industry supplier in Germany. The main focus at the South German company is on transmission engineering, and the production of steering and axle components. ZF Friedrichshafen’s customer base includes the world’s leading car and truck manufacturers.

On October 30th the Entrepreneurial School® at Management Center Innsbruck took pleasure in welcoming Dr. Stefan Sommer, CEO of this high-powered company, who gave a talk in the framework of the MCI Alumni & Friends lecture series.

On the subject of “Factors for success at a global enterprise”, the German manager placed a strong emphasis on corporate vision and strategy as the keys to progress and further development. He said, “You have to make it clear to almost 80,000 employees that they have to deliver that little bit extra in terms of workmanship and innovation if you are simply on a par with the others.” The focus must be on achieving a “leading performance” and delivering “world class technology”.

For Dr. Sommer, the main factors for success today are dynamism, and speed and flexibility in responding to the needs of changing markets, as well as the power of innovation, freedom and creativity required to move down new avenues in a pioneering spirit. And that, the CEO added, is not possible unless you have a few people with vision on board.

The talk was chaired by Oliver Stock, editor-in chief of Handelsblatt Online.