Hermann Simon

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Hermann Simon
Hermann Simon Management Thinker.tif
Born (1947-02-10) February 10, 1947 (age 70)
Hasborn, Germany
Alma mater University of Cologne
University of Bonn
Occupation author
Website www.hermannsimon.com

Hermann Simon (born 10 February 1947) is a German author and business leader. He is chairman of Simon-Kucher & Partners, Strategy & Marketing Consultants. Simon is an expert in strategy, marketing and pricing. An ongoing online survey (in German language countries) vote him the most influential management thinker after Peter Drucker.[1] Simon has authored numerous books and writes articles for international newspapers and business magazines.

Short Biography[edit]

  • 1947 Born in Hasborn/Eifel, Germany.
  • 1966 High School leaving A-levels certificate, Cusanus High School, Wittlich
  • 1967-1969 German Air Force, fighter bomber squadron 33, reserve officer
  • 1969-1973 Studies of economics and business administration in Cologne and Bonn
  • 1974-1979 Ph.D. and qualification as a university professor under Horst Albach in Bonn
  • 1979-1989 Professor at the University of Bielefeld
  • 1989-1995 Professor at the University of Mainz
  • 1983-2002 Various guest professorships and visiting researcher positions: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1978/79), Vienna Institute for Advanced Studies (1979), Keio University in Tokyo (1983), Stanford University (1984), INSEAD in Fontainebleau (1980–1985), Harvard Business School (1988/89), London Business School (1991–2002)
  • 1985-1988 Director, USW The German Management Institute, Schloss Gracht/Cologne
  • 1985 Founded the company Simon - Kucher & Partners Strategy & Marketing Consultants
  • 1995-2009 CEO of Simon - Kucher & Partners Strategy & Marketing Consultants
  • Since 2009 Chairman of Simon - Kucher & Partners Strategy & Marketing Consultants

Business Professor, Management Consultant and Author[edit]

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hermann Simon’s career has followed three paths: as a management consultant, as an author and as a business professor. His books have been translated into 25 languages and are widely read among managers. An ongoing online survey votes him the most influential management thinker after Peter Drucker.[2]

Business Professor[edit]

Hermann Simon is also a professor of business and has worked extensively in the field of marketing. Until 1995 he was a professor of business administration and marketing at the Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. Simon’s academic career began very early: After completing his studies, he started his Ph.D. under the supervision of Horst Albach. Professor Albach significantly influenced his professional development, especially regarding the bridge between theory and practice. Between 1978 and 1980 Simon received a post-doctoral scholarship from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) and was also a visiting fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) during that time. Since then he has been a regular contributor to journals like "Management Science", "Harvard Business Review", "MIT Sloan Management Review" and Journal of Marketing Research. His academic career led him to numerous guest professorships at international universities: Simon was a visiting professor at the Vienna Institute for Advanced Studies in 1979, at the Keio University in Tokyo in 1983 and at Stanford University in 1984. He also taught at INSEAD in Fontainebleau (1980–1985), at Harvard Business School (1988–1989) and London Business School (1991–2002). Between 1984 and 1986, Professor Simon was the head of the European Marketing Academy (EMAC), and between 1985 and 1988 he was the research director of the European School of Management and Technology (formerly the Universitätsseminar der Wirtschaft, or USW) at the Schloss Gracht in Cologne.

While working as an economics professor, his research largely centered on bridging the gap between theory and practice and his approach to research was empirical and decision-oriented. Numerous theoretical concepts were practically applied in his pioneering projects (calculation of expected market reactions, non-linear pricing, product life cycles, bundling).

During his time as the director at the USW (the largest German institute for management training in the mid-1980s), Simon decided to enter the professional business world. In 1985, he founded the management consultancy UNIC, which later became Simon-Kucher & Partners Strategy & Marketing Consultants, together with his former Ph.D. students, Dr. Eckhard Kucher and Dr. Karl-Heinz Sebastian. In 1995 Professor Simon left his university career to dedicate himself full-time to the consulting business as the chairman of Simon-Kucher & Partners.

Management Consultant[edit]

Hermann Simon was CEO of Simon-Kucher & Partners Strategy & Marketing Consultant|Consultants from 1995 till 2009. The company, of which he has been chairman since 2009, employs 700 professionals and operates worldwide with offices in Amsterdam, Beijing, Bonn, Boston, Brussels, Cologne, Copenhagen, Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Santiago de Chile, São Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich.

His consulting firm focuses on strategy, marketing, pricing and sales. Bloomberg BusinessWeek described Simon-Kucher & Partners as a "world leader in giving advice to companies on how to price their products"[3] and The Economist wrote: “Simon-Kucher is the world’s leading pricing consultancy”.[4]

Professor Simon has served as the board member for numerous joint-stock companies as well as boards of trustees. His perception of the German corporate landscape draws strongly from this background. He acknowledges the expertise of German companies in technology and products, but asserts that they still show weaknesses in terms of marketing, customer orientation and service. Compared to companies in the USA, German companies perform poorly in terms of market capitalization. Consequently, Professor Simon sees a great danger of German companies being “colonized”.


Hermann Simon’s books are widely read among managers and have been translated into 25 languages. In March 2011, Professor Simon and co-author Martin Fassnacht were awarded the 2010 Georg-Bergler-Prize for Preismanagement. Carrying with it a €20000 prize, the Georg-Bergler-Prize is the most highly endowed award for European marketing textbooks. In 2006, Simon published Manage for Profit, Not for Market Share, which takes a critical look at the widespread focus on volume and market share and calls for a conscious shift of focus towards profit. Simon’s most well-known publications include Think (2004), Power Pricing (1997), Hidden Champions (1996), Hidden Champions of the 21st Century (2009) and Preismanagement (3rd edition 2009). Additional publications include Das große Handbuch der Strategieinstrumente (2002), Das große Handbuch der Strategiekonzepte (2000) and Simon for Managers (2000). Professor Simon has coined a number of phrases which are commonly used in management theory and practice, including “price management”, “hidden champions”, “Servicewüste” and “investor marketing”.[5] Since 1988, Simon has regularly authored a column for the German monthly Manager Magazin. In addition, he is a member of the editorial boards of numerous business journals, including the International Journal of Research in Marketing, Management Science, Recherche et Applications en Marketing, Décisions Marketing, European Management Journal as well as several German journals.

Selected literature[edit]


  • Simon, Hermann (2013). Preisheiten. Alles was Sie über Preise wissen müssen. Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag. ISBN 978-3-593-39910-2. 
  • Simon, Hermann (2012). Hidden Champions. Aufbruch nach Globalia. Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag. ISBN 978-3-593-39714-6. 
  • Simon, Hermann (2011). Die Wirtschaftstrends der Zukunft. Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag. ISBN 978-3-593-39363-6. 
  • Simon, Hermann (2009). Beat the crisis. 33 Quick solutions for Your Company. New York: Springer. ISBN 1-4419-0822-6. 
  • Simon, Hermann (2009). Hidden Champions of the 21st century. New York: Springer. 
  • Simon, Hermann (2009). Preismanagement. Analyse, Strategie, Umsetzung (3rd ed.). Gabler Wiesbaden. 
  • Simon, Hermann (2006). Bilstein, Frank; Luby, Frank: Manage for Profit, not for Market Share. A Guide to Greater Profits in Highly Contested Markets. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. ISBN 1-59139-526-7. 
  • Simon, Hermann (2004). Think - Strategische Unternehmensführung statt Kurzfrist-Denken. Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus. 
  • Simon, Hermann (2003). Strategie im Wettbewerb. 50 handfeste Aussagen zur wirksamen Unternehmensführung. Frankfurt am Main: FAZ-Buch. 
  • Simon, Hermann (2002). von der Gathen, Andreas: Das große Handbuch der Strategieinstrumente. Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus. 
  • Simon, Hermann (2000). Das große Handbuch der Strategiekonzepte. Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus. 
  • Simon, Hermann; Dolan, Robert J. (1996). Power Pricing. How Managing Price Transforms the Bottom Line. New York: The Free Press. ISBN 0-684-83443-X.  (published in 14 languages)
  • Simon, Hermann (1996). Hidden Champions. Lessons from 500 of the world's best unknown companies. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. ISBN 0-87584-652-1.  (published in 15 languages)
  • Simon, Hermann (1991). Simon für Manager. Düsseldorf: Econ Verlag. ISBN 0-8342-0877-6. 

Selected Articles[edit]

  • Simon, Hermann (1997). "Hysteresis in Marketing - A New Phenomenon?". Sloan Management Review. 38 (3): 39–49. 
  • Simon, Hermann (1992). "Pricing Opportunities and How to Exploit Them". Sloan Management Review. 33: 55–65. 
  • Simon, Hermann (1992). "Lessons from Germany's Midsize Giants". Harvard Business Review. 70: 115–123. 
  • Simon, Hermann; Sebastian, Karl-Heinz (1987). "Diffusion und Advertising: The German Telephone Campaign". Management Science. 33 (April 1987): 451–46. doi:10.1287/mnsc.33.4.451. 
  • Simon, Hermann (1982). "PRICESTRAT. An Applied Strategic Pricing Model for Non-Durables". TIMS-Studies in the Management Sciences. 17. 
  • Simon, Hermann (1982). "ADPULS. An Advertising Model with Wearout and Pulsation". Journal of Marketing Research. 19 (August 1982): 352–363. doi:10.2307/3151569. JSTOR 3151569. 
  • Simon, Hermann; Bachem, A. (1981). "Product Positioning Model with Costs and Prices". European Journal of Operational Research. 7 (4): 362–370. doi:10.1016/0377-2217(81)90094-1. 
  • Simon, Hermann (1979). "Dynamics of Price Elasticity and Brand Life Cycles: An Empirical Study". Journal of Marketing Research. 16 (November 1979): 439–452. doi:10.2307/3150805. JSTOR 3150805. 
  • Simon, Hermann (1978). "An Analytical Investigation of Kotler's Competitive Simulation Model". Management Science. 24 (October 1978): 1462–1473. doi:10.1287/mnsc.24.14.1462. 



External links[edit]