Franz-Josef Kortüm has been interested in automobiles for as long as he can remember.
The CEO of German roof and auxiliary heating specialist Webasto started repairing vintage automobiles as a schoolboy and continues to have a passion for classic cars.
Kortüm studied economics at the universities of Münster and Regensburg in Germany. He has been involved throughout his career in the auto industry, not only with Webasto, but also with Daimler-Benz and as CEO at Audi.
He joined Webasto in 1994 as managing director and was named CEO five years later. Webasto's revenues have increased from E700 million to about E1.4 billion under his leadership and the company's work force has grown by more than 2,000 people.
Name: Franz-Josef Kortüm.
Title: Webasto CEO.
Languages: German, English.
Family: Married, three children.
Countries lived in: Germany
Education: Degree in economics from Regensburg University.
First job in the car industry: Salesman at Daimler-Benz.
First car: BMW 2002 Ti.
What is in your garage now?
My fun cars are a Smart ForTwo convertible and a Jaguar XK 150. When I visit customers, I drive their repective brands.
If you could work in another industry what would it be?
I could not imagine working in another industry.
What is the most fun you had in the last year?
Celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary together with our children at the same Caribbean island where my wife and I stayed 25 years ago.
What is your greatest regret?
That I didn't set up my own business right after university.
What is your current state of mind?
I am happy with Webasto's position and performance and I am looking forward to new opportunities in our portfolio.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Driving together with my wife or one of my kids through the Alps in my vintage car.
What is your greatest fear?
What is the trait you most dislike in others?
What is your favorite restaurant?
Acetaia, an exclusive Italian place in Munich.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Vintage cars, watches.
What was the greatest holiday you ever had?
The Caribbean anniversary vacation I mentioned before.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife and my kids.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To improve my golf handicap without playing.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Despite my shortcomings, I am a happy and lucky man.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I have always been there when my wife or children really needed me.
Where would you like to live?
In Munich, where I am today
What are your most marked characteristics?
Balanced leadership. It is all about enjoying hard work.
Who are your real-life heroes?
People who risk or sacrifice their lives to save others.