Utz Claassen

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Utz Claassen (2011)

Utz Claassen (born May 7, 1963 in Hanover) is a German manager, management consultant, entrepreneur, investor and author. He has held senior management positions in some of Germany’s most prominent companies such as Volkswagen and EnBW.[1][2]


In 1980 Claassen earned his high school diploma (Abitur) after skipping two grades[3] with a grade point average of 0.7 (close to the highest value possible on the German scale).[4] As this was the best diploma score a high school student had hitherto achieved in Germany, he was invited to the German ARD (broadcaster) TV show "Auf Los geh's los".[5]

Claassen studied economics at the University of Hanover and at Oxford University. From 1986 to 1987, he served as the President of all post-graduate students at Magdalen College and of the entire University of Oxford.[6] In 1985 and 1989, respectively, he obtained his master's degree (Diplom) and his Doctorate at the University of Hannover with distinguished grades each.[7]


Early years[edit]

Utz Claassen began his career in 1987 as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. In 1989 he moved to Ford Europe, where he was responsible for the management control system and worked in a team implementing measures for simultaneous engineering.[1] Thereafter, Volkswagen appointed him to oversee their management control system. From 1992 to 1994 he rose through the ranks of the car-manufacturer and eventually became an executive director.[6]

Senior positions[edit]

CFO at SEAT[edit]

A few days after his 31st birthday, Claassen was then appointed chief financial officer of SEAT, a subsidiary of Volkswagen.[8] Whereas the automaker had accumulated a significant deficit in 1993, the company became profitable again within three years under Claassen's leadership.[9]

CEO at Sartorius[edit]

From 1997 until 2003 he served as Chairman of the Executive Board and Group CEO of Sartorius AG, which manufactures pharmaceutical and laboratory equipment. During his time at Sartorius, Claassen oversaw several acquisitions along with a significant increase in revenues.[10]

CEO at EnBW[edit]

In 2003 he was appointed CEO/Chairman of the Board of Management of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, the third largest utility company in Germany.[11][12][13][14] While in office, he managed to turn annual losses of over 1 billion euros in 2003 into a record profit for three years in a row, before he left the energy supplier in 2007.[15] Acknowledging his efforts to assume social and economic responsibility alongside the corporation's foreign engagement, Russia awarded him with the Order of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker in 2005[16] and France with the knight-class order of the Légion d'Honneur in 2006.[17]

Board member at AWD[edit]

From 2008 to 2013 he served as a member of the Supervisory Board of AWD Holding AG, one of Germany's largest financial service providers.[18][19]

Founder and chairman of the board of directors at Syntellix[edit]

In 2008 he set up the medical technology startup Syntellix, which develops and manufactures a biodegradable implant to cure fractures.[20] For this product Syntellix has won a number of innovation prizes such as the Top 100 innovation award of 2017.[21][22][23] In addition, Claassen himself received the award as "Most Innovative Entrepreneur International 2016" from the hands of EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger.[24] While Claassen remains chairman of the board of directors, the company claims to have sold 27.000 "Magnesix" implants worldwide as of March 2017.[25]

CEO at Solar Millennium[edit]

In early 2010 he briefly entered the renewable energy corporation Solar Millennium AG as its CEO. After three months, he used his contractually granted right to resign immediately within a predefined period of consideration.[26] He justified this step by explaining that he had been given misleading information by Solar Millennium prior to accepting the position as CEO.[27] In April 2013, a legal dispute that had evolved around the resignation ended with the legally binding conclusion that Classen's resignation was lawful, valid and justified.[28][29]

President of RCD Mallorca[edit]

From December 2014 until June 2016,[30] Claassen worked as President of RCD Mallorca.[31] During his tenure he focussed on restructuring the soccer club through a strategic reorientation.[32] In January 2016 he handed the club over to the ACQ Lagacy Partners LLC by transferring 80 percent of its shares within the context of a capital increase by more than 20 million euros.[33] This was also the first engagement by NBA franchise owners in European soccer.[34][35]

Academic life[edit]

Since 2001 Claassen has worked as a professor at the University of Göttingen and the University of Hanover, where he holds lectures on management control systems and serves as an academic ambassador.[36][7][37] Starting in 2009 he also gave management courses at GISMA Business School.[1]

Besides, Claassen has released numerous scientific publications covering topics such as leadership, knowledge as well as risk management and entrepreneurial innovation.[38]


  1. ^ a b c "Prof. Dr. Utz Claassen's Profile". London Speaker Bureau. Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  2. ^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle, Talking Germany - Utz Claassen, Writer and former executive | All media content | DW.COM | 08.02.2015, retrieved 2016-08-22
  3. ^ Lebert, Stephan (9 July 2007). "Manager: Mann ohne Grenzen". Retrieved 28 August 2016 – via Die Zeit.
  4. ^ "Utz Claassen veröffentlicht Roman: Grüne Energie im Überfluss". Retrieved 28 August 2016 – via Sueddeutsche.de.
  5. ^ Online, FOCUS. "Karriereauftakt in Rateshow". Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Utz Claassen Ph.D.: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  7. ^ a b Claassen, Utz. "Curriculum Vitae English : Utz Claassen". www.utz-claassen.de. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  8. ^ "Utz Claassen". www.wiwo.de. Retrieved 2016-07-25.
  9. ^ "90's - SEAT Historie | SEAT". www.seat.de. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  10. ^ "Chef des Präzisionswaagen- und Filterherstellers Sartorius: Utz Claassen: Wunderkind in der Bewährungsprobe". Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  11. ^ "UPDATE 2-EnBW to become Germany's No.3 gas player in $1.6 bln deal". Reuters. 2015-10-16. Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  12. ^ "Dow and EnBW end cooperation on integrated energy concept for Stade industrial site". EnBW AG. Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  13. ^ 1471499717, ;. "Solar Millennium AG - Solar Millennium Supervisory Board appoints Prof. Dr. Utz Claassen as new CEO - Archives - Press - Press Releases - Archive 2009". www.solarmillennium.de. Retrieved 2016-08-18.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  14. ^ Martens, Peter. "Aus für EnBW-Chef Claassen: "Rambo unter Deutschlands Managern"". sueddeutsche.de (in German). ISSN 0174-4917. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  15. ^ ka-news (2007-04-26). "Wieder Rekordergebnis für das erste Quartal | ka-news". ka-news.de (in German). Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  16. ^ "Utz Claassen - Biografie WHO'S WHO". www.whoswho.de. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  17. ^ "Vorstandsvorsitzender von ENBW Prof. Utz Claassen von Botschafter Claude Martin mit Ehrenlegion ausgezeichnet". Frankreich in Deutschland (in German). Archived from the original on 2016-10-13. Retrieved 2017-03-14. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  18. ^ "Finanzdienstleister: Utz Claassen auf dem Sprung in AWD-Aufsichtsrat - WELT". DIE WELT. Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  19. ^ "Utz Claassen: Aufsichtsrat bei AWD? - manager magazin". Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  20. ^ "Selbstauflösende Knochen-Schraube". www.springermedizin.at. Archived from the original on 2016-07-17. Retrieved 2017-03-14. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  21. ^ "Top Innovators of 2017". TOP 100 (in German). Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  22. ^ "Syntellix AG". TOP 100 (in German). Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  23. ^ "Awards – Syntellix AG". www.syntellix.de (in German). Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  24. ^ "» Prof. Dr. Utz Claassen gewinnt Sonderpreis „Innovativster Unternehmer International 2016" … Schirmherr Günther H. Oettinger hielt die Laudatio! positiv-magazin". www.positiv-magazin.de. Retrieved 2016-07-25.
  25. ^ Scheuermann, Albrecht. "Hochgeschraubte Erwartungen bei Syntellix". HAZ – Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  26. ^ "Utz Claassen, Writer and former executive - guest list - DW.COM - 08.02.2015". Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  27. ^ www.juve.de, JUVE -. "Vergleich: Solar Millennium-Insolvenzverwalter beendet mit Noerr Streit mit Ex-Chef Claassen «  JUVE". Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  28. ^ "Gehaltsstreit: Claassen einigt sich mit Solar Millennium". Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  29. ^ Germany, SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg. "Zivilprozess: Claassen und Solar Millennium streben Vergleich an". Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  30. ^ Claassen, Utz. "Letter of resignation from President of Real Mallorca". RCD Mallorca - Web Oficial. Archived from the original on 2016-07-25. Retrieved 2017-07-24. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  31. ^ "Ehemaliger ENBW-Chef: Utz Claassen tritt auch als Fußball-Manager zurück". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). 2016-06-12. ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
  32. ^ "RCD Mallorcas Investor Dr. Utz Claassen im Interview: »Ich will den Ballermann-Touri und den Millionär«". 11FREUNDE.de (in German). Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  33. ^ Ritzer, Uwe. "Fußball in Spanien: Geldsegen aus dem Basketball-Universum für Real Mallorca". Retrieved 28 August 2016 – via Sueddeutsche.de.
  34. ^ "Basketballer Nash übernimmt Klub von Utz Claassen". Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  35. ^ "NBA legend Steve Nash and Phoenix Suns owner by Mallorca". Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  36. ^ "Leibniz Universität Hannover - Utz Claassen". www.uni-hannover.de (in German). Archived from the original on 2016-09-16. Retrieved 2017-03-14. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  37. ^ "Institut für Controlling - Curriculum Vitae". www.controlling.uni-hannover.de (in German). Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  38. ^ Claassen, Utz. "Publikationen : Utz Claassen". www.utz-claassen.de. Retrieved 2017-03-14.

External links[edit]