Phil Pezus

CFO thyssenkrupp TechCenter Carbon Composites

“My parents were art dealers, so when I was younger, I always pictured myself working in the art world. But things played out differently. I became a banker and began to envision a future for myself in finance. I ended up surpassing my goal, becoming CFO in an international group at an exceptionally young age.”

From trainee to CFO in one, two, three years

I knew even during my training in banking that I wanted to work in finance for a DAX corporation. I didn’t want to waste any time, so I went about getting my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, studying in Cologne, Qingdao (China) and Düsseldorf, and I completed internships in the areas of controlling, M&A and investment management. These internships sparked my interest in industrial finance, prompting me to apply for the Corporate Trainee Program "Create (y)our future" at thyssenkrupp. I decided to work for thyssenkrupp because I was impressed by the way that the Assessment Center catered for my individual needs and put me in direct contact with managers from the other companies in the group. I’ve been given the chance at a very young age to help lead a start-up in the group in the role of CFO. This is a great opportunity for me, and I’m enjoying adapting to my new role.

My challenges

My responsibilities as CFO are very diverse. Keeping an overview of each facet of the business while keeping all employees thematically up to date on our mutual journey presents a unique challenge.

My typical working day

I really don’t have a typical working day. Each day presents me with a new set of challenges. This variety is what makes working at thyssenkrupp so incredibly exciting for me. If I had to say one thing about my job, it would be that no two days are alike.

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

… pursuing a common goal with my colleagues. I fondly recall a situation during my stay in China. I was faced with the task of solving a highly complex problem as quickly as possible, just as my colleague was about to leave for the day. When she saw what I needed to do, she put her bag down without hesitation and we solved the problem together as a team. I would have never solved it alone. For me, that is a typical “together” moment.

The range of opportunities here is infinite

thyssenkrupp offers many different opportunities to find the right job with tasks that are fun and allow you to do good work. At a company like thyssenkrupp, there is an incredible amount of diverse activities. This diversity is the reason I go to work every day. You can also network with interesting people from different fields and countries. Here is an example of how this can work: During my stay in China, I told a Chinese colleague of mine about an idea I had to study mediation on the side. He found that very exciting and we began to have an interesting discussion about intercultural mediation. Four months later, this same colleague sent me an invitation to lunch. An HR colleague I did not know was also invited. I found it odd that the lunch was to take place in our canteen in Essen, but I figured that my Chinese colleague must have been in Germany on business. Shortly before the lunch, he called me and explained that he would obviously not be there. After all, he was in Beijing. He simply wanted to introduce me and my colleague in HR to one another as we did not yet know each other, but were both interested in mediation and would be working at the same campus. Incredible, right?