This is a very long version of my CV. You will find the short version on LinkedIn.
The first steps in my professional career
After finishing my Master’s degree in Political Science and Rhetoric, and journalistic training at a regional newspaper, I set out on a career in the Media. As it happened, this move coincided with the beginning of the digital era. “Digital” has thus been at the centre of my work for more than twenty years. In that time, the media and communications business has laid the foundations of digital transformation for all other industries.
Live and let Die in the Dot-com bubble
With quotes like "we are the sneakers company" or we are "the speedboat" the management of T-Online, a subsidiary company of Deutsche Telekom, tried everything to look cooler than the traditional Telekom. This speed boat showed me a complete economic cycle within less than six years. We started with some incredible wild days of growth. And it ended with some harmful days and a lot of layoffs. In the year before the layoffs I topped my annual goals with 140 percent and I was one of three people being highlighted for my work during a small Christmas party. Three months later they asked me to quit. My first experience with change in a big company was pretty painful.
A digital journey through Switzerland
Have a look at the US, Canada and UK. Now you can guess how much similarity in culture and language a German will find in Switzerland. But they treated me good in my first role as the responsible for the website of the biggest weekly newspaper in Switzerland. With the support of an inspiring boss I was able to drive an ambitious digital transformation process in this newspaper. I introduced several new digital formats like blogs, videos, podcasts and an online community with a paid subscription model. A success that was enabled by different teams and colleagues.I was able to win their support with coachings, town hall meetings and trainings with external experts. Maybe this was the first time when I realized that digital transformation is a team sport. This experience helped a lot to handle the challenges in my next role as Head of Information Services at the ETH Zurich. My knowledge of change communication made it possible to convince a professor in 2009 to use Facebook as another platform to meet the community of his think tank.
Entrepreneurship in Switzerland
Project managers in Zurich and designers in Tokyo. That is a good sales story for an UX agency. And thanks to a charismatic founder we were able to work for big publishing houses and well founded startups. The brand seemed healthy and invulnerable. But the nuclear emergency in Fukushima showed us within a week, how vulnerable you are if you have a bunch of designers sitting in a country with a disaster. Needless to say that these kind of surprises are an excellent training if you are hired to drive an economic turnaround of a communication agency in the next episode of my career. The agency supported all sizes of clients in the digitization of their communication. My personal takeaway from these days of digital transformation was as simple as important: Sometimes the digital revenues are small and the competition is big. That´s why you are not able to compensate the loss in the traditional business with the new digital revenues.
Marketing between Frankfurt, Vienna and Cape Town
Blaming the newspaper industry for being too traditional in their business is a common and nasty hobby of bloggers and social media prophets. As a Director at the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers I was allowed to support the industry´s search for new digital business models in Europe, Middle-East and Africa. With this experience I can say:You can find some of the best change managers in this industry. The situation in the consulting business is completely different. A big part of B2B marketing and sales is based on personal recommendations. But inbound marketing is ready to bring a serious amount of new leads as well. That´s the reason why corporate storytelling was one of the most important tasks in my role as a Head of Marketing for a B2B consultancy called M.O.O.CON.
A short interim balance sheet of my lifelong learning
Digital transformation is radically changing companies and organizations. The winner in this game will be people that understand: Digital transformation is a team sport. A common understanding for the opportunities in the Digital transformation is enabled by an emphatic communication within your teams.