How does the Chairman of the Board of Management view Christmas? Read a Christmas conversation with Bernhard Maier.
How do you spend Advent?
Advent is the time my Christmas actually begins. When we were children, this used to be a very lengthy period that seemed to have no end. The anticipation was simply far too long, until ending with the candles burning on the tree, an abundant table and — finally! — the unwrapping of gifts. As the famous German theologist Dietrich Bonnhöfer said, “To celebrate Advent means to wait.” He probably did not mean waiting for the feast at the Christmas table, but rather for the great Christian event.
What does Christmas mean to you?
It’s a Christian holiday, a remembrance of Jesus Christ’s birth, as well as the time to realise how very important peace, humility and faith are to all people. It’s a time to look back and contemplate what we have achieved during the past year. But also a time to make resolutions for the New Year.
The qualified car mechanic continued his studies in Economics in Calw, Baden-Württemberg. His career started with Nixdorf. In 1988, he began employment with BMW in different positions both at home and abroad. In 2001, he moved to Porsche, where he was Head of Local Sales. He became a Board Member of Porsche in 2010. Last November he was appointed as CEO of ŠKODA.
Christmas to me is a chance to switch off and actually to savour this impatience.
So how exactly do you spend your Christmas?
Christmas to me is a chance to slow down. Besides the Christian legacy, it’s exactly this peace that I see as the real essence of Christmas. Easing the weekday pace, letting the thoughts flow freely and contemplating whether one’s work and personal lives are in balance. So, to me, Christmas means a chance to switch off and actually to savour this impatience. What was almost unbearable as children has now become the greatest gift.
How do you plan to spend this year’s holidays?
We’ll probably go to the mountains where we plan to spend classic, traditional holidays. I hope there will be enough snow for lots of skiing! I’m very inspired by my family and I’m looking forward to finally spending more time with them. I also want to meet my friends who I’ve been neglecting during the year. A true symbol of Christmas to me is reading for an hour or two or spending time in the kitchen — not only am I a gourmet, but I also like to roll up my sleeves and do the cooking myself. And last but not least: I can finally get some sleep.
Who will get the best present from you?
Of course, as tradition orders, our children. And what will it be? Well, that’s a secret! (Laughs)