HAMBURG -- Michael Macht, 48, owes his steep professional ascent to the top job at Porsche AG mainly to two men: Hans-Joerg Bullinger and Wendelin Wiedeking.
Bullinger, a professor for labor economics and technology management, is president of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. He entrusted Macht, a mechanical engineer, with complex restructuring and organization projects at German companies.
It's an important store of experience, to which the Stuttgart native still readily resorts even today.
In 1990, Macht moved to engine planning at Porsche. Two years later, he came to the attention of the company's new CEO, Wendelin Wiedeking, who named him his personal assistant.
A production expert like Macht, Wiedeking wanted to gear Porsche's factory to greater efficiency. Both took numerous business trips to Japan to learn the secrets of lean production from companies such as Toyota Motor Corp.
For example, Macht completed a two-week course at a manufacturer of climate control equipment that was highly regarded for its lean production techniques.
Macht passed on his learning not only to his own people, but also to other companies through Porsche Consulting, which he founded.
Happy on 4 wheels, or 2
Macht is married and the father of two. The enthusiastic car driver and passionate pilot counts trips on motorcycles among his favorite pastimes. He is cool and casual on a Harley-Davidson as well as sporty and dynamic on his Porsche Bike FS Evolution, an all-terrain bicycle with carbon wheels.
Macht is also the proud owner of a Porsche 356.
In a recent interview with Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche, Macht said he considers Porsche's great strength to be "the mastery of the extremely great variation in our products."
For him, the mastery of the extremely varied interests resulting from the company's integration with VW is now added to that.