Professionalization, internationalization and the expert work groups: Siegfried Gänßlen has everything in view

The former Chairman of the International Association of Controllers (ICV) has been involved in the ICV for more than 30 years. He has earned great merit in the professionalization, internationalization of the Association and the development of the ICV expert work groups.

For several years, he was Head of the regional ICV work group "Südwest" in the Stuttgart / Schwarzwald region until he became a member of the ICV Board in 2000 and Deputy Chairman of the Board in 2004. Since May 2007 to 2018 Gänßlen was Chairman of the ICV Board. After two years as a board member, he moved to the ICV Board of Trustees in 2020.

His career began in 1974 in Frankfurt / Main as Assistant Manager at Price Waterhouse in the area of audit and mergers & acquisitions. After that Gänßlen was Controller and Commercial Manager of the company Cooper in Besigheim and later Commercial Manager of Karl Dungs in Urbach and Commercial Director at Hydraulik Ring (Heller AG) in Nürtingen. From 1994 to 1999, he was Managing Director Controlling, Finance and Human Resources at Hansgrohe GmbH & Co.KG. After conversion into an AG he was from 1999 Deputy Chairman and CFO, as well as responsible for the strategic business area America, Middle East, Africa and India. Since May 2008, Siegfried Gänßlen was Chairman of the Management Board of Hansgrohe AG, now Hansgrohe SE, in Schiltach. In 2014 he passed the presidency to his successor. Until May 2015, he then advised the CEO of Masco Corporation as the International Executive Advisor in the strategy area of the Masco Group.

A Down-to-Earth Man of the World

A.D. 2012: South-West Germany; The Black Forest; The City of Schiltach;

Location: Headquarters of Hansgrohe AG

Main Character: Chairman of the ICV Board Siegfried is a down-to-earth man at the helm of a globally active company, enjoying full respect of his people. Siegfried is loath to wear ties and loves Baden-Swabian cuisine. You can bump into him on the whole surface of the globe.

A record worth of €1.6 billion in bonuses

The bathroom and sanitation manufacturer Hansgrohe AG had recorded in 2010 a turnover of €693 million and awarded its employees in the last year with a record worth of €1.6 million in bonuses. Hansgrohe CEO Siegfried Gänßlen praised on that occasion his colleagues in a way typical for him - without stint: "Without the commitment and willingness of our employees, it would not have been possi-ble. So it is only natural for us that our employees should have a fair share in the success of their company and we want you to treat these bonuses as a sign of our gratitude for your work."

"Always handle all tasks with due care"

Siegfried Gänßlen was born in 1946 in Stuttgart. "Always handle all tasks with due care" is what his mother used to say to her little plucky lad and Siegfried has been living ac-cording to this motto since then. Add to that his high punctu-ality standards and you will get Siegfried's blueprint for suc-cess.

The company legend has it that his school peers used to say about him that "this bloke wants to breach a brick wall with his head"; Siegfried Gänßlen as a CEO has lost not an ounce of his determination and consequence. Gänßlen him-self once said that he had been ambitious at school, but what drove his ambition even higher was soccer. Soccer was and still remains his great passion. He managed it once to the 3. German league and afterwards was active as a referee - many experiences gained in that period came in handy later in his working life: "Quickly and precisely recog-nizing and assessing a situation is what has helped me in my later work", he once said in an interview for the business newspaper "Handelsblatt".

“A good ref doesn't need to make use of his penalty cards all too often”

Soccer jargon offers accurate expressions for describing Gänßlen's ways of doing things. So as he was asked in a magazine interview about his growth strategy for Germany and Europe he used the following metaphor: "You must win all matches on your home turf if you want to get to the top of the table." A journalist fellow wrote recently in a newspaper

portrait that ICV Chairman’s "rule of the game" is to manage a company basing on ratios: "And everybody accepts it. In any case, he can always blow his whistle, and indeed loudly. And a good ref doesn't need to make use of his pen-alty cards all too often."

“He has got enough stamina to set high growth targets for the ICV”

It's a real pleasure to be able to accompany Siegfried Gänßlen at his work as the Chairman of the ICV Board. Af-ter a few moments in his presence you can see that he lives and breaths the ICV. He has been privately investing great amounts of his energy into his non-commercial, and indeed successful activities at the ICV - more often than not devot-ing his already limited free time. Since May 2007 Siegfried Gänßlen has been the Chairman of the ICV Board of Direc-tors. He has been engaging himself voluntarily in the asso-ciation for over 30 years. He was leading the regional ICV work group "Südwest" for the area of Stuttgart/Blackwood, until he became in the year 2000 a member of the ICV Board and then in 2004 its deputy Chairman. Both in his company and in the ICV Board Gänßlen comes across as a down-to-earth and consequent person. He places also here much trust in his board colleagues and active members. At the same time he has got enough stamina to set high growth targets for the ICV. It does not come as a surprise that one of his main focal points is the professional interna-tionalization of the ICV, especially when you consider the fact that he is all the time on the move around the globe fulfilling his duties as the Chairman of Hansgrohe AG. Trav-eling is, by the way, his best pastime activity: to experience different cultures in far-away regions. A down-to-earth man of the world.