Founder and Managing Partner at Karaktero
Herbert Heitmann has been the responsible executive for Reputation and Brand Management as well as Stakeholder Engagement in three industry-leading global companies in the last 25 years. During his tenure, all three companies and many of the CEOs he supported, enjoyed superior ratings, won awards and recognition in line with their ambitions.
He helped turning SAP’s image from that of a German software vendor to a global strategic business partner. At Shell, the established image of an oil company was transformed into that of the most innovative energy company. Subsequently, at Bayer, he was integral in the transition of the image from a German-centric chemical conglomerate into that of a global Life-Science Company. When business and communications strategy are aligned and co-developed, the financial market is willing to pay premium prices. This led to record market valuations at the time at each of these three companies. With this approach, he became the trusted advisor to outstanding business leaders and managed several severe issues and crises with them successfully.
Coming from Science and Engineering via Politics into the business world, his passion has always been to make stakeholder engagement, brand management and communications as effective and efficient as any other corporate discipline is expected to be. Pairing business strategy with stakeholders’ expectations is the basis for his success. His passion is to professionalize the communications functions that he leads or advises towards delivering predictable, tangible outcomes. This has been also the driving force behind the creation of the EACD and the invention of its major events, the European Communications Summit and “The Circle” of the most senior European communicators.
Herbert Heitmann is now the Founder and Managing Director of Karaktero – a management consultancy and corporate financial advisory – helping leaders codevelop communications and business strategies and offering strategic advice.
Author, Environmental Debt: The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global Economy, Former Vice-Chair, World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Climate Change
Co-Founder & Fellow, Stanford’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Fellow, Stanford Law School, Board Member (Chair of Governance), The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Chair, Silicon Valley Directors Exchange and Board Member, Latino Corporate Directors Association, Mirova