Oliver Burkhard

Member of the executive board and CHRO

“I never really had a fixed career goal. In fact, one of those may well be something of an obstacle here. What is most important is that you keep your eyes open and make the most of the opportunities that present themselves. This approach is likely to open doors or point you in directions you wouldn’t necessarily have come to on your own. This is just what happened to me at thyssenkrupp.”

My career

When I first embarked on my professional career, working as an administrative clerk at the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden, I didn’t have a fixed career goal. From there, I went on to work for Germany’s biggest union, IG Metall, where I started out as a secretary for collective bargaining matters (Tarifsekretär) and went on to become a regional manager. I joined thyssenkrupp in 2013 as member of the executive board and CHRO. How did I manage this? Well, by having completed a part-time business administration degree while working; by always keeping my eyes open; by invariably being very invested in my work and in the company or organization employing me, and by meeting people who trusted me, and still trust in me.

My challenges

I believe that thyssenkrupp’s diversity is what makes it so special. We are represented in over 80 countries, have five business divisions and employ 155,000 people. Under these circumstances, we can hardly be anything other than highly heterogeneous . And yet (or perhaps precisely because of this), our employees are united by a special sense of solidarity. The diversity and the opportunities to listen to others are two things I particularly appreciate about thyssenkrupp. But these factors are simultaneously two of its greatest challenges. How can we effectively reconcile all the differing interests and needs? How can we turn them into a financially successful, future-oriented business that provides its employees across all locations with work enjoyment and a sense of purpose? Finding solutions to these questions is a wonderful, albeit ambitious, challenge.

My typical working day

In my role, no two days are the same. But they all have one thing in common: They involve a great deal of me listening and learning from others.

Our tagline is "engineering. tomorrow. together.". For me, "together" means...

…enjoying many gratifying and productive “together” moments with others. These range from the friendly “good mornings” my staff greet me with, to situations such as employee assemblies and discussions with work councils.

My employer thyssenkrupp

Would I recommend thyssenkrupp as an employer? You bet I would! :) And our employees feel the same way: In our employee survey, over 84 percent of people responded to this question with “yes.” This is a result we can be proud of. And a wonderful endorsement.

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