Profile

Utz Claassen (born on the 7th of May, 1963, in Hanover) is a top manager, management consultant, entrepreneur, investor, scientist, publicist and author with widespread international experience. As the only German manager of his generation, he was responsible for and succeeded in three major, large-scale corporate restructuring and turnaround processes. Jeremy Rifkin, Founder and President of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington, D.C., called Claassen one of the leading managers of the German economy, and Helmut Maucher, the Honorary President of Nestlè AG, even described Claassen as one of “the most successful and courageous managers of our time”. At the age of 22, Utz Claassen received his “Diplom” (equivalent of a master´s degree) in economics from the University of Hanover, with the best result in the faculty´s history. After that, he became the first German in the almost 800 years of Oxford´s university history to be President of the postgraduates of Magdalen College and President of all postgraduates of the University of Oxford at the same time. A few days after his 31st birthday, Claassen was appointed Executive Vice President Finance of SEAT and thus became the youngest brand vice president in the Volkswagen Group´s history. At the age of 39, he became CEO of one of the largest German utility corporations. Also in 2003, he was honored as Germany´s first “Knowledge Manager of the Year”. Claassen is the only manager and entrepreneur who has been successful in all three size categories of the “Innovation Award of the German Economy – The World´s First Innovation Award®”. Besides that, Claassen was the first German worldwide who acquired the majority of the shares of a professional soccer club. He speaks fluent English and Spanish, and he has worked for companies and held positions in three continents. In April 2016, Utz Claassen received from the hands of EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger the award as “Most Innovative Entrepreneur International 2016”, two year´s after Amazon´s Jeff Bezos was honored as “Most Innovative CEO International” by the same organizers.

As early as June 1981, Utz Claassen had become known to a multimillion television audience after he had been invited in¬to one of Germany´s most popular nationwide Saturday evening TV shows, based on his historically unique German high school / A level per¬formance. Ever since, he has been highly present in the media, also through many TV appearances in various countries, with contributions on economics, politics, culture, and sports. German business papers Handelsblatt and Financial Times Deutsch¬land called him a „high flyer“, for the highly respected Sunday paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung he was „the energy giant“, Manager Magazin portrayed him as Germany´s toughest restructurer, Welt am Sonntag saw him as one of “the toughest managers in Germany“, and one of „the most talented managers of the country“. The intellectual week¬ly paper Die Zeit called him „man without limits“, the French paper Les Echos described him as a real „star of the economy right of the river Rhine“. Frankfurter Rundschau wrote about Claassen: „He is more intelligent than most managers may dream of.” BILD, the paper with the widest circulation in Europe, called him „A role model“, and the Atlantic Times stated: „Utz Claassen is Germany’s wunderkind“. The Asia Pacific Times wrote about Claassen: „The head of the BDI’s Innovation Strategies and Knowledge Management initiative is regarded by experts as a major innovator and guiding intellectual force in the German economy.” The business magazine Econo called him in a front page title „The Billion Man“. The North German broadcasting company (NDR) described him in television as “A man of incredible drive“. Leading German Newsmagazine Der Spiegel commented: “He is one of the most intelligent German Managers“/“the Manager-Wunderkind at all”. Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung called him “Genius” of the German economy. In February 2018, Die Zeit described him as “dazzling shining light amongst managers” and “attraction for shareholders”, and in October 2018 Nürnberger Zeitung simply named him “Starmanager”. In September 2019, The Citizen wrote that the innovative magnesium technology he “is bringing to the world’s attention, could be the biggest disruptor in the surgical and orthopaedic industry in the past decade.”