The Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA students had once more the chance to learn first-hand from an accomplished corporate leader. Dr. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, Deputy Chairman and CFO of Robert Bosch GmbH gave an inspiring lecture on “Shaping the future in a challenging business environment” in Düsseldorf on January 30th, 2015. Asenkerschbaumer shared his experiences and insights on managing one of the largest family-run corporations in Germany. He started the lecture by highlighting similarities between the Robert Bosch GmbH and WHU: both charitable foundations with strong roots and both celebrated a company anniversary in 2014. He went on by introducing the four corner stones of the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Robert Bosch Group today. “A long tradition, however, is no guarantee for survival in a turbulent market environment”, he emphasized. The Bosch way of shaping the future therefore considers the entrepreneurial perspective, strategic controlling, innovative strength and organizational agility alike.
The lecture was followed by an interactive Q&A session with the students who found Asenkerschbaumer very approachable and who made good use of the chance to get valuable insights on day-to-day management decisions and issues. According to Felix Mann (EMBA Class of 2015), the highlight of the presentation was Asenkerschbaumer’s advice to “travel as much as possible in order to get out of your daily routine and better understand your company, employees, and business environment.” “It’s always great to get real-life advice and feedback from business leaders and learn about their personal strategies and success factors”, Felix said.
Dr. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer’s career with Bosch started back in 1987, when he joined the company as part of a management trainee program. Over the past 28 years, Asenkerschbaumer has held several positions within the company, including Head of Corporate Department Controlling, Planning, Mergers and Acquisitions (2002-2006), President of Starters and Alternators Division (2006-2010) and Member of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH (2010-2013). In July 2013, he took over his current position as Deputy Chairman of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH.
The presentation took place as part of the WHU SEE (Senior Executive Experience) series, a joint initiative of the Kellogg-WHU EMBA Program, the WHU Foundation, and the WHU Executive Education at WHU. The goal of WHU SEE is to invite high-profile executives to the school to share their personal and professional experiences.
Felix concluded: “The lecture was very interesting and I really enjoyed it , particularly the very personal approach of Dr. Asenkerschbaumer. It is always great to get insights into new industries and learn about their challenges!”