Bridge-builder for Bosch: Tilman Todenhöfer steps down from supervisory board and Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand
Also stepping down: Prof. Olaf Kübler and Dr. Michael Otto
New to Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand: Prof. Renate Köcher and Prof. Lino Guzzella
New to the supervisory board: Prof. Elgar Fleisch and Prof. Michael Kaschke
New managing partner of Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand: Dr. Wolfgang Malchow
Stuttgart, Germany – There have been several changes in the composition of Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG (RBIK) and of the Robert Bosch GmbH supervisory board. After having reached the mandatory retirement age, Tilman Todenhöfer (72) and Prof. Olaf Kübler (73) have stepped down from both bodies. Dr. Michael Otto (72) is also leaving the RBIK for age reasons. Effective April 8, 2016, the vacant places in the RBIK will be taken by Prof. Renate Köcher (63) and Prof. Lino Guzzella (58). Effective April 9, 2016, Prof. Elgar Fleisch (48) and Prof. Michael Kaschke (58) have been newly appointed to the supervisory board.
Tilman Todenhöfer: bridge-builder and diplomat Todenhöfer served the Bosch Group for some 40 years in all. Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the shareholders’ meeting and of the supervisory board of Robert Bosch GmbH, paid tribute to Todenhöfer’s successful career: “Tilman Todenhöfer was an important bridge-builder, both within the company and on its behalf. At the start of the 1990s, he used his great diplomatic and interpersonal skills to forge a settlement between the two parties to the wage disputes of those years.” Todenhöfer’s time as director of industrial relations at Bosch was above all one in which far-reaching changes in working-time policy were made at engineering and manufacturing locations.
“Many employer representatives are aware of the different interests in negotiations. But only few know how to consider the positions of both sides and reach fair compromises. Tilman Todenhöfer was one of the few,” said Alfred Löckle, deputy chairman of the supervisory board and chairman of the central and combined works councils of Robert Bosch GmbH. “The industrial relations of the 1990s and the first decade of our millennium bear the stamp of Tilman Todenhöfer. They secured Germany’s competitiveness as an industrial location,” Fehrenbach added. It was also during this period that the company pension scheme was restructured. With the capital benefit plan (1998) and the Bosch pensions fund (2002), Bosch was the first industrial enterprise in Germany to provide a capital-based pension scheme for its associates.
Todenhöfer also played an active role in politics and society. At the end of the 1990s, he was a strong advocate of the German industry initiative to compensate people employed as forced laborers by the National Socialist regime. In the summer of 2000, Bosch was one of the founding members of the “Remembrance, Responsibility, and Future” foundation. In 2008, Todenhöfer was co-initiator of “Afrika kommt!”, an initiative of German industry for future leaders from subsaharan Africa. Summing up the debt the company owes to Todenhöfer, Fehrenbach said: “Associates, the shareholders, and the supervisory board would like to thank Tilman Todenhöfer for his extraordinary dedication and the many ways he has served the company over the past 40 years.”
Todenhöfer was appointed to the Bosch management board in 1993, becoming director of industrial relations in the same year. A qualified lawyer, he joined the RBIK in 1996. From 1999 to 2003, he was deputy chairman of the board of management. From mid-2003, he was one of the two managing partners of the RBIK. He was a member of the supervisory board of Robert Bosch GmbH from 2004.
Collaboration in a spirit of trust: Fehrenbach thanks Otto and Kübler Fehrenbach also thanked Otto and Kübler for their contributions over the past several years. “At a very early stage, Michael Otto showed that successful entrepreneurship and sustainability are not mutually exclusive, but mutually beneficial. With this fundamental conviction, he played a significant role in the successful evolution of the Bosch Group.” The chairman of the Otto Group supervisory board, Otto joined the RBIK in 2005.
Speaking of Kübler, Fehrenbach said: “With his scientific knowledge and expertise in areas such as image processing, artificial intelligence, and robotics, Olaf Kübler provided important stimuli for the innovations developed at Bosch.” The former director of Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich has been a member of the supervisory board and the RBIK since 2007.
Successors in the RBIK and on the supervisory board Prof. Renate Köcher, the managing director of the Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research, has been made a limited partner of the RBIK. The economist has been a member of the Robert Bosch GmbH supervisory board since 2012. She is also a member of the board of trustees of Robert Bosch Stiftung. Prof. Lino Guzzella, the president of ETH Zurich, has also been made a limited partner. Tilman Todenhöfer’s successor as managing partner of the RBIK will be Dr. Wolfgang Malchow. The former director of industrial relations and management board member of Robert Bosch GmbH has been a limited partner of the RBIK since July 2014. Since early 2012, he has been a member of the Robert Bosch GmbH supervisory board.
Prof. Elgar Fleisch has been newly appointed to the supervisory board. A business information technology graduate, he is a full professor of information and technology management at the University of St. Gallen and a professor of innovation management in ETH Zurich’s Department of Management, Technology, and Economics. At the University of St. Gallen, Prof. Fleisch also runs the Bosch IoT Lab, which researches business models for the internet of things. Joining him as a new member of the supervisory board is Prof. Michael Kaschke, president and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG. Kaschke, who has a PhD in physics, is an honorary professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s faculty for electronics and information science. Among other things, he is a member of the U.S. Board of the Presiding Committee of the BDI (Confederation of German Industry) and of the German government’s Council of Science and Humanities.
About Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG RBIK carries out the entrepreneurial ownership functions at Robert Bosch GmbH. The role of Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand (industrial trust) is the result of the distinctive corporate constitution of Robert Bosch GmbH. It came into force in 1964, and safeguards the lifework of the company founder Robert Bosch (1861 to 1942). According to this constitution, a total of 92% of the shares in Robert Bosch GmbH are held by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, a charitable foundation. The Bosch family holds a strong seven percent of the share capital, while the remaining shares are held by Robert Bosch GmbH and the RBIK. With the voting rights, the situation is different: RBIK has 93 percent of the voting rights, with the Bosch family holding the rest.
With Prof. Renate Köcher and Prof. Lino Guzzella, the RBIK comprises ten shareholders. The two managing partners are Franz Fehrenbach and Dr. Wolfgang Malchow. The other shareholders are Dr. Christof Bosch, representing the Bosch family, Dr. Siegfried Dais, former deputy chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht, chairman of the directors of BASF SE, Prof. Lars G. Josefsson, former president and CEO of Vattenfall AG, and Urs Rinderknecht, former chief executive of the Swiss bank UBS.
Contact person for press inquiries: René Ziegler, phone: +49 711 811-7639
Internet of things changing personnel requirements in many business fields
“Let’s be remarkable” – a new look for the company’s image as employer
Christoph Kübel: “Software expertise is the key to the connected world”
Stuttgart, Germany – To stay on its growth course, Bosch plans to recruit some 14,000 university graduates worldwide this year. In the future, increasing numbers of software specialists will find jobs at the global supplier of technology and services. “Connectivity through the internet of things is changing Bosch’s business – and consequently our personnel requirements – more than ever before,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations of Robert Bosch GmbH. “Bosch is now a popular employer for specialists from the software and IT industries,” he adds. Almost every second vacancy at Bosch is related to IT or software. In particular, the need for software engineers for IT systems (e.g. web applications) and for embedded systems (e.g. sensor systems) is growing. A large number of Bosch associates are developing solutions for a connected world. “Software expertise is the key to the connected world,” Kübel says, announcing the staffing needs in the run-up to the IT expo CeBIT. At a regional level, the focus of new hires is on Asia Pacific. In India, Bosch plans to recruit 3,500 university graduates, followed by 2,500 new hires in China and 2,100 new hires in Germany. With a new look for HR marketing, Bosch hopes to attract future specialists with and without professional experience.
Digital transformation: interdisciplinary study in vogue Bosch’s strategic objective is to create solutions for connected mobility, connected industry, connected energy systems, and connected buildings. For some years now, Bosch has been expanding its software expertise. As a result, new job profiles are being created, and cross-domain professional qualifications are becoming more important. The company currently employs more than 15,000 software engineers, and the numbers are set to grow. “Today’s Bosch is also a software company,” Kübel says. “University graduates with a degree in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial engineering and who possess software expertise have excellent chances to start a career with us.” He adds that people with the reverse profile – namely business information technology experts and software engineers with expertise in the automotive or industrial technology sectors – are also sought-after. This is because solutions for things such as connected industry call for a synthesis of different kinds of expertise for creative problem-solving. But Bosch still requires specialists, both with and without a degree, in its traditional business fields as well.
Software expertise: shaping the connected world At Bosch, associates such as the 45-year-old Dr. Lutz Bürkle are playing a significant role in shaping the connected world. Together with his colleagues, he is working on driver assistance systems that help prevent collisions with pedestrians. “With my work, I can contribute to greater road safety. My software knowledge helps me develop the necessary algorithms,” says Bürkle, who works as a project manager at the Bosch research campus in Renningen. His colleague Jayalakshmi Kedarisetti also sees the importance of software expertise in everyday working life. The 33-year-old engineer from India is conducting research on power electronics for electric vehicles. Power electronics convert the direct current provided by the battery into alternating current to drive the electric car’s motor. “Besides my electrical engineering expertise, I also need programming knowledge for my job in order to optimize power electronic components through simulation,” Kedarisetti explains. “It helps that I took courses in programming languages early on in my studies,” she adds.
Bosch: working at a software company Specialists from internet and software companies are finding attractive fields of work at Bosch, as Bosch is the only company worldwide that is active on all three levels of the internet of things. The Bosch Group offers key technologies, such as sensors and software for connectivity, and at the same time develops new services based on these technological innovations. “In the end, every Bosch electronic product should be web-enabled,” the 35-year-old Lan Guo says, getting to the heart of the matter. Just last year, Lan Guo left her assignment as section head in quality management in Reutlingen to return to China, where she works at the Suzhou location. There, she and her teams are responsible for things such as rolling out production of the electronic control units that are used for automotive near-range cameras. “It opens up a lot of professional development opportunities for me, whether in hardware or software. In the medium to long term, I can even switch to another industry without leaving the company,” she says. In addition to the opportunity to change function or industry, the company supports different career paths. Associates can climb the career ladder moving within and between specialist, project, and leadership career paths.
Working like a start-up: creative freedom in a large company The working environment is also an important consideration for many young professionals when choosing an employer. “For me, flat hierarchies are important, as is the opportunity to have a hand in shaping something new,” Dr. Kai Häussermann says. The 34-year-old senior software developer works on intelligent smart-home solutions at Bosch in Stuttgart-Vaihingen. The company announced just a few weeks ago that it is entering the smart-home market, and has established a subsidiary for this purpose. “The combination of the advantages of a large company and a start-up is the right mix for me. On the one hand, I have access to the expertise and processes of the parent company, while on the other I can make the most of the creative freedom the job offers,” Häussermann adds.
Workplace design: telecommuting and social media Bosch most recently began the process of expanding its 240,000 computer workstations with modern office software. The objective is to facilitate telecommuting with familiar social media applications that associates use in their personal lives. A flexible and family-friendly working culture also plays a key role in the working environment at Bosch. The company supports more than 100 working-time models and gives equal recognition to private and professional commitments. “I don’t spend my free time at work,” says Sule Dogan, section head in the Information Systems & Services corporate sector. The 36-year-old computer science engineer and mother of a small daughter works at the company’s location in Stuttgart-Feuerbach. “Depending on the project, there can be a lot to do, but even in such cases, I try to make it a point to honor the end of the work day. Ensuring a work-life balance is simply important,” she says.
“Let’s be remarkable”: a new look for Bosch as an employer Over the course of the year, Bosch will be presenting a new image of itself as an employer. In keeping with the guiding principle “Let’s be remarkable,” ad motifs boasting a fresh design will appear in print and online media, ad materials, and at trade show booths. The new image aims to use words and visual elements to place focus on the meaningful tasks at Bosch. “Anyone who wants to improve quality of life will find the right job at Bosch,” says Daniela Huber, who is responsible for international HR marketing. “The thing that links all Bosch associates is their desire to leave their mark on the world with products that spark enthusiasm. This is what our new image conveys.” As a financially independent employer, the company is known for its values and long-term focus. “Our meaningful tasks will therefore be the best form of HR marketing in the future as well,” Huber adds.