Trained mechanical engineer Marcel Fasswald has been Chief Executive Officer of the Industrial Solutions business area of thyssenkrupp since October 1, 2018. He spoke to us about customer orientation, the appeal of major international projects, and the current refocusing of the business area.
I’ve been really impressed by the motivation levels of our employees. They identify with thyssenkrupp and particularly with the product they work for. That is without doubt one of our strengths which we mustn’t abandon or neglect in the current transformation of our business area. Also, we have technologically superb products and we’re strong at developing new products. In the future, we will focus even stronger on an excellent execution of our projects, strengthen our regional presence and further improve the collaboration within our global network.
Our customer relationships will not suffer in any way, in fact they will be intensified. Our new board stands for continuity. My board colleagues and I were all already at the company, we know our customers, markets, and products. Oliver Tietze is our new Chief Financial Officer as of October 1. Previously he was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of our global project execution organization. Michael Höllermann remains Chief Human Resources Officer. As a board we will be more involved in day-to-day business. On major projects we will be providing executive sponsorship so that we can work as closely as possible with our project teams and customers.
Our customers always come first, that’s not going to change. Moving forward, we’ll continue to be a reliable, competent partner for high-tech engineering solutions. In the future we’ll be concentrating fully on our plant engineering businesses. thyssenkrupp's naval business, one of the world's leading system suppliers for surface ships and non-nuclear-powered submarines, has been spun off from Industrial Solutions and is managed directly by thyssenkrupp AG as of October 1, 2018.
Our aim is to combine innovation and competitiveness. To succeed on the global market, we not only need outstanding products and services but also internationally competitive cost structures. That’s what we’ll be focusing on and what our customers will profit from.
After completing my degree in mechanical engineering, majoring in design, I started work in the plant engineering division of Mannesmann Demag Hüttentechnik. I soon became project manager and I was thrown in at the deep end right from the start. But that’s a good way to learn to swim and gain valuable practical experience. Working on plant engineering projects is never dull, there are always new challenges, cultural differences to master. Right from being a young engineer, that was a challenge I relished. Plant engineering is a business like no other: To me, being project manager on a major project is the most exciting and interesting job in the world.
That’s true. I’ve always loved working abroad. I’ve managed projects in places like Canada, India, China, Korea, and Austria. That taught me that a project can only succeed if the relationship with the customer is a partnership right from the start. Both sides need to know that they’re in the same boat and will only succeed by being completely open with each other. As well as project business, I later spent seven years as CEO of a subsidiary in India.
I’m no novice when it comes to international cooperation in a matrix and utilizing the strengths of numerous countries. I’m bringing this experience to the management of Industrial Solutions. I hope it will benefit our company and our international customers.