Panel Discussion: Innovate or Die – Why Innovation Matters
Hartmut Jenner has been chief executive of the world’s biggest manufacturer of cleaning machines since 2001, presiding over a period of strong growth with revenues rising by nearly 50% under his leadership. The engineering and business studies graduate joined Alfred Kärcher in 1991, working with various divisions of the company including heading the business in the US before being promoted to the top job. Beyond his obvious abilities as a business leader, Jenner also presided over the establishment of the Alfred Kärcher Foundation, which supports young scientists who carry out research in the area of cleaning technology; Jenner chairs the foundation. Kärcher is a third-generation family company that traces its origins back to the early 20th century. It is a classic example of Germany’s Mittelstand family businesses.