Pioneering work: Bosch introduced its senior expert concept in 1999
Life experience and professional expertise are held in high regard
Director of industrial relations Kübel: “Senior experts make important contributions”
Retired associates contribute more than 40,000 years of expertise
Stuttgart – At Bosch, demand for company retirees is growing around the world. In 2013, senior experts worked some 50,000 days, about twice as many as five years ago. Specialists including technicians, engineers, management accountants, and logistics experts were in especially high demand. Fifteen years ago, Bosch established Bosch Management Support GmbH (BMS), a subsidiary that offers the services of former associates for project work and consulting tasks of limited duration. The aim was to hold on to decades of Bosch expertise, all the while passing knowledge on to younger associates. The global provider of technology and services currently counts 1,600 retirees in its pool of experts. Over the course of their careers at Bosch, they acquired more than 40,000 years’ worth of know-how. In 1999, the senior expert concept was the only one of its kind in Germany. Since then, it has served as a model for many other companies and organizations.
Mixed-age teams: better results “What launched with 30 associates in 1999 has developed into a global success story for Bosch,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the Bosch board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH, on the anniversary of the subsidiary’s establishment. “Our senior experts make important contributions. Thanks to their decades of expertise, they can help find solutions, provide new ideas, and enhance our innovative strength.” Moreover, mixed-age teams make cross-generational learning easier, says Kübel.
Senior experts provide professional consulting services The senior experts are called upon in instances where professional advice is required on short notice. For instance, help may be needed to start up a new production line in another country, or to carry out quality assurance activities at a plant. “Knowing that my life experience and professional expertise are valued is a great source of motivation,” says Siegmund Kaiser, a 67-year-old Bosch senior expert for hydraulics. “I find solving technical challenges exciting, and I am pleased to be keeping abreast of technical developments.” BMS experts work on projects of limited duration and receive an honorarium that is based on their past salaries. They work in a number of areas, including development, production, purchasing, finance, marketing, and sales.
Excellent problem-solving skills, high customer satisfaction In 2013, senior experts worked on 1,027 consulting projects around the world, which added up to a total of 49,556 working days. The rising demand for senior experts is attributable to their strong ability to find solutions. Without career goals and free of financial interests, they can quickly tackle the challenges at hand. “I can apply my expertise directly, I can draw on my Bosch network, and colleagues accept me as an associate and their equal,” says 65-year-old Ursula Glatz, who most recently worked as a senior expert for quality management. “If I am not interested in the contents of a project, I sometimes decline a request. After all, I want to deliver convincing results. I am not looking for a way to fill my free time.” As a result of this determination, senior experts’ customers are generally very satisfied, giving them ratings of 93 out of 100 possible points on average.
Senior experts working around the world While demographic developments in Germany have led to a shortage of specialists in many places across the country, the senior expert concept reflects Bosch’s global diversity strategy. “Mixed-age teams are often better equipped to meet a range of customer needs,” says Dr. Georg Hanen, managing director of Bosch Management Support GmbH. “Many senior experts have more than 40 years of Bosch experience under their belts. For this reason, demand for their services is growing in other countries as well. Besides its offices in Germany, BMS also has a presence in Denham, U.K.; Broadview, U.S.; Saitama, Japan; and Campinas, Brazil. Most recently, Bosch opened a BMS office in Bangalore. Hanen predicts that the senior expert model will have a successful future. “Today, every second senior expert is commissioned for a follow-up project, and the numbers continue to increase.”
Occupational training commitment as high as previous year
Director of industrial relations Kübel: “Young specialized talent ensures we remain diverse”
High demand for mechatronics engineers and industrial mechanics
Stuttgart – Starting immediately, school students from across Germany can apply for all of Bosch’s new positions for apprentices and university students. The supplier of technology and services plans to fill 1,340 education and training spots in Germany for 2015. Bosch offers young people career opportunities in more than 30 professions in the technical, commercial, and IT sectors. These include, for example, the classic metalworking and electrical engineering professions, as well as training in areas such as mechatronics, microtechnology, and IT. The company is also offering 300 dual study positions in technical and commercial areas. More than 100,000 young people worldwide have completed apprenticeships at Bosch. In Germany, one in four Bosch apprentices is female. Interested school students can find out more information and apply online at: www.bosch.de/ausbildung.
Apprenticeships ensure future supply of new recruits “Especially in this time of demographic change, we need talented new recruits in Germany to ensure that we can continue to develop technology to improve many people’s quality of life,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH, about the start of the application process. “People who complete their training at Bosch bring lots of impetus and ideas with them, and these contribute greatly to the company’s success.” Kübel adds that age diversity is a significant driver of Bosch’s innovative strength.
Invented for life – mechatronic engineering high on the list The need for apprentices will remain high in the coming year. Mechatronic engineering, which combines mechanics and electrical engineering knowledge, is especially in demand, as these skills are increasingly important in production. “Bosch is particularly keen to attract applications from women because mixed-gender teams are more successful,” stresses Siegfried Czock, who is responsible for occupational and vocational training for Bosch in Germany. “Already, the share of women in each apprentice year has reached 23 percent, and in technical areas, it’s at 16 percent.”
Apprenticeship tradition with high standards Bosch has a long tradition of providing vocational training. More than 100 years ago, on April 1, 1913, Robert Bosch set up the company’s first occupational training department to ensure consistent quality standards. Bosch apprentices today regularly receive great recognition for the quality of their qualifications. In April 2014, Christoph Linz and Christoph Lieberth won the “Jugend forscht” regional competition in Bavaria in the category Working World. “I learned a lot during my apprenticeship at Bosch that I could apply to my Jugend forscht project,” explains 18-year-old Christoph Lieberth, a future industrial mechanic in his second year of training at the Bosch plant in Bamberg, Germany. Problem-solving and social skills are acquired early on by Bosch apprentices. “They have the opportunity to run a company of their own, which we refer to as a “junior company.” They can also get involved in social projects associated with the education initiative Wissensfabrik or as part of a social week,” Czock says.
Connected world – connected learning Another important element of vocational training is intercultural competence. Bosch has run an international apprentice exchange program for more than 50 years. In each trainee year group, 20 percent are offered the chance to see how work is done in other countries and to gather experience of foreign cultures. Another option is for apprentices to spend some time accruing practical experience at a Bosch location in Germany. “Our goal is to promote independence, self-reliance, and the ability to work as part of a team,” says Czock. “At the same time, this is the first chance for many apprentices to extend their network across several locations.”
Dürig has been head of global communications at Bosch for eleven successful years
Zemelka to succeed Dürig effective October 1, 2014
Stuttgart, June 27, 2014 – Effective July 1, 2015, after 31 years in communications and the media, and roughly eleven successful years as head of corporate communications at the supplier of technology and services Robert Bosch GmbH, Uta-Micaela Dürig (50) will be moving to the board of management of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, Stuttgart. The Robert Bosch Stiftung is one of the largest company-affiliated foundations in Europe. Effective the same date, Dr. Ingrid Hamm will be retiring for age reasons, following many years as chief executive officer.
The shareholders meeting of the Robert Bosch Stiftung made this announcement today, following its meeting in Stuttgart. Starting October 1, 2014, Dürig will begin building up her network with a broad range of national and international contacts. And from January 1, 2015, she will assume responsibility for the project to combat European youth unemployment – a project that was begun jointly by Robert Bosch GmbH and the Robert Bosch Stiftung in 2013.
Uta-Micaela Dürig became head of Bosch Group corporate communications on January 1, 2004, systematically making it more international and reorganizing its areas of work. Under her leadership, corporate communications’ roughly 240-strong team garnered many national and international awards for outstanding innovative work, including for the company’s anniversary activities in 2011. Apart from classic corporate communications, the department’s sphere of activity also includes brand management and sustainability. Under Dürig’s leadership, corporate social responsibility institutes were set up in countries such as China, the U.S., India, and Brazil.
Before joining Bosch, Uta-Micaela Dürig worked as a newspaper journalist, and following the fall of the Berlin Wall she was the Berlin Senate’s political press spokesperson. She completed a part-time course in journalism at the Institute of Communication Theory of the Free University of Berlin, and was responsible for marketing communication, media relations work, public affairs, and strategic communications at companies in various industries. In this context, she spent four years at ABB AG, two years at the telecommunications company Krone AG, and six years within the RWE group. Apart from her professional work, Dürig has been engaged in civic initiatives for many years. Since 1985, she has been involved in a children’s home and adult training center near the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. Since 1996, she has been training communicators and journalists at universities and journalism schools. In 2010, she was one of the co-founders of the “Academic Society for Corporate Management and Communication” in Leipzig. And since early 2014, she has been a member of the supervisory board of Caritasverband Stuttgart, whose 1,400 full-time staff and activities at 70 locations in Stuttgart make it one of Germany’s largest charitable organizations.
Effective October 1, 2014, Uta-Micaela Dürig will be succeeded by Dr. Christoph Zemelka (45), who has been part of Bosch corporate communications since November 1, 2004. A trained journalist, Zemelka started his Bosch career as head of the issues management unit, where he was mainly responsible for communicative support for M&A and reorganization projects. In subsequent years, he was responsible for internal communications, including the associate newspaper “Bosch Zünder.” Since 2011, he has been responsible for public and media relations work. After studying journalism in Dortmund and completing a traineeship at the Deutsche Welle radio station in Cologne, he began his career as a management consultant with Roland Berger and C4 Consulting. Zemelka has been one of Dürig’s deputies for a number of years. The changeover has been planned for some time.
Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management, said: “Since joining Bosch in 2004, Ms. Dürig has done an excellent job of heading corporate communications, and led her team to many impressive achievements. She was able to benefit from her considerable networks in the media, politics, and society. We would like to thank Ms. Dürig for her many years of dedicated service, and wish both her and Mr. Zemelka every success in their new roles.”
Dr. Kurt Liedtke, the chairman of the board of trustees of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, said: “Ms. Dürig has a broad network of national and international contacts, and having also been responsible for sustainability, she brings extensive familiarity with and understanding of social issues. This experience will be extremely valuable for her future work on the board of management, from where she will pursue the charitable objectives of the Robert Bosch Stiftung. In addition, she has a profound insight into Bosch history, as well as many contacts within Robert Bosch GmbH.”
Uta-Micaela Dürig said: “The Robert Bosch Stiftung’s work is important and has a far-reaching impact. My own work has often overlapped with that of the Stiftung’s professional team, especially when it comes to sustainability, education, and journalism. I will continue to be closely involved with communication issues via my teaching activities and membership of professional bodies.”
Contact person for press inquiries: Uta-Micaela Dürig, phone: +49 711 811-6280
Dr. Christoph Zemelka, phone: +49 711 811-6854
Bosch Group: The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In 2013, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.1 billion euros. (NB: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2013, the Bosch Group invested some 4.5 billion euros in research and development and applied for some 5,000 patents. This is an average of 20 patents per day. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide 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. 92 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.
Robert Bosch Stiftung: This year, the Robert Bosch Stiftung is celebrating its 50th anniversary. As one of Europe’s largest foundations associated with a private company, it invests approximately 70 million euros annually in supporting some 800 of its own and third-party projects in the fields of international understanding, education, society, and culture, as well as health and science. Since its founding in 1964, the foundation has used more than 1.2 billion euros for charitable activities.
The Robert Bosch Stiftung continues the charitable pursuits of Robert Bosch (1861–1942), the founder of both the company and the foundation. It owns about a 92 percent stake in Robert Bosch GmbH and finances its operations from the dividends it receives from this holding. Robert Bosch’s former home in Stuttgart serves as the foundation’s headquarters. Around 140 employees work for the foundation at this location and at its offices in Berlin.
Stuttgart – Effective July 1, 2014, the partners of Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG have decided to accept Dr. Wolfgang Malchow (64) as a further limited partner.
Since the start of 2012, Malchow, who has a PhD in law, has been a member of the supervisory board of Robert Bosch GmbH. Prior to that, he was director of industrial relations and a member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.
Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG exercises the entrepreneurial ownership rights at Robert Bosch GmbH. From July 1, 2014, it will comprise eleven partners. The two managing partners are Franz Fehrenbach and Tilman Todenhöfer.