HR and CSR issues

From trainee to management board member Bosch invests in 280 leadership personalities

  • Opportunities for future executives in more than 30 countries
  • Trainee program in Africa for the first time – expansion in southeast Asia
  • Christoph Kübel, Bosch director of industrial relations: “Our business leaders need to be navigators and beacons”
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  • February 18, 2016
  • HR and CSR issues
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Stuttgart, Germany – Bosch is investing in future executives: this year, the supplier of technology and services plans to fill some 280 positions in its program for junior managers. A global search is underway for graduates with above-average college grades. Bosch wants them to join its Junior Managers Program (JMP), which will prepare them for executive positions. “Tomorrow’s business leaders need to be navigators and beacons,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. “That is why we qualify our trainees to lead associates in a connected working world, to provide them with orientation, and to work with them to create excellence.” Most of Bosch’s trainee positions are in Germany (65) and China (41). With roughly 34 positions, the company is expanding its program in the southeast Asia region. For the first time, four candidates are also to be recruited in Africa. Kübel adds: “We are looking for well-rounded individuals with IT and software skills, as well as engineering and business graduates.” The JMP is considered to be a career springboard. Four members of the current Bosch board of management are former trainees. The company plans to announce soon how many trained graduates it plans to recruit in total.

Leadership responsibility within just a few years
For 30 years now, the Junior Managers Program (JMP) has provided a hands-on setting to prepare qualified young talent for the assumption of leadership tasks. It is characterized by individual program modules that are developed jointly by the participant and a mentor from senior management. As Kübel explains: “From the bottom up, they get to know a corporate culture that orients to values and sustainability rather than short-term profit maximization.” During the JMP, the participants alternate between plants, divisions, and corporate departments. Acting on their own initiative, they take on tasks associated with day-to-day work and projects and have access to their own training budget. According to Kübel, the goal is for the junior executives to assume leadership responsibility for a department eight years after joining the program. The participants therefore have a permanent employment contract from the very beginning. Because of the program’s popularity, they first have to prove themselves in an intensive selection process: in Germany alone, there are some 100 applicants for each single trainee position each year. The JMP is offered with various focal points, from research and development or information technology to management accounting, logistics, technical sales, and purchasing. The JMP lasts 18 to 24 months and includes a post outside the participant’s home country.

Women in leadership positions: female applicants wanted
Qualified women candidates have especially good chances of being accepted to the JMP. By 2020, Bosch wants to increase the share of women in leadership positions to 20 percent, and it is counting on its own junior executives to help it achieve this target. The 26-year-old business information technology graduate Theresa Best is one of them. She has just started her trainee program and works in the Information Systems and Services corporate sector at the company’s location in Stuttgart-Feuerbach. “As part of my first assignments, I’m helping to oversee the introduction of an office software program for 240,000 computer workstations,” Best says and adds, looking into the future: “My next stop on my career path will be Singapore.”

Networking – taking on responsibility
Immediately after the program, trainees typically first take over challenging specialist positions to prepare them for a successful executive career. Some even quickly take on more responsibility, such as the 35-year-old Florian Bankoley. The managing director of a Bosch subsidiary for online mobility solutions sees the JMP as a major opportunity: “Within a very short time, I was able to get to know different parts of the company. Even now, my work still benefits from this, as well as from the network I built up across divisional boundaries during my JMP.”

CFO Asenkerschbaumer: Bosch focuses on personality
The aspiring department heads have appealing career opportunities, says Dr. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, deputy chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. He is also a former JMP participant and has made it to the board of management. “For the trainees, a career shouldn’t be an end in itself,” the chief financial officer says. The combination of personality and professional skills is the key to professional development. Asenkerschbaumer’s advice: “Anyone interested in a future leadership career at our company should be able to motivate people, have an entrepreneurial mindset, and be able to work in a team. Those are ideal qualifications for becoming an executive at Bosch.”

International experience for a connected working world
Sergio Amaya is getting ready for a further international assignment following his time in the JMP. The native of Colombia, who currently works at the location in Leonberg, is preparing to head up a 35-member development department for driver assistance systems at the location in Plymouth, USA, starting in March of this year. “I already experienced international collaboration with locations in France and Japan during the JMP, which was tremendously helpful for me in my later responsibilities as a project director. After all, teamwork across national boundaries is a fact of life in development work.” The former JMP trainee Lisa Maria John is now an executive in software development for driver assistance systems at the Bosch location in Bangalore, India. The 31-year-old software specialist sees the support concept as the strength of the trainee program. “The support I received from my HR manager, plus the personal exchange with my mentor and the people who looked after me on my various trainee stages, gave my development a boost. The advice I received from our experienced senior managers prepared me well for my leadership career. We still keep in touch to this day.”

Bosch as an employer:
Junior Managers Program at Bosch:
Diversity at Bosch:
Guidelines for a flexible working culture at Bosch:
Work-life balance at Bosch:

Christoff Wachendorff on the JMP, Germany:
Frank Lehrieder on the JMP, Germany:

Contact person for press inquiries:
Sven Kahn,
phone: +49 711 811-6415

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at and,

PI9173 - February 18, 2016

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