Interview with
Marcel Fasswald.

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.

 

Mr. Fasswald, you joined the Industrial Solutions board at the beginning of April 2018, initially as Chief Operating Officer, and now you have been appointed Chief Executive Officer. What are your impressions of the company so far?

 

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.


 

Industrial Solutions appointed a new board as of October 1. What changes will that bring for our customers?

 

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 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.”

 

 

You mentioned the transformation of the business area. What direction is Industrial Solutions taking?


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.

 

 

You’re a trained engineer with vast international experience. What have been the key stages in your career to date?

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.  

“Working on plant engineering projects is never dull, there are always new challenges, cultural differences to master.”

____
Marcel Fasswald,
Chief Executive Officer

 

You saw a lot of the world before you joined the board of the SMS Group in 2015.

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.

 

The bottom line: Marcel Fasswald, new Chief Executive Officer of thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, emphasizes the business area’s sharpened focus and continuous commitment to its customers. The company already has high-tech products, outstanding innovative capabilities, and a highly motivated workforce. To succeed on the global market, it’s essential to combine technical innovation and internationally competitive cost structures.