10/15/2015

The new man at the head of Porsche

As the Member of the Executive Board for Production since 2013, Oliver Blume had been ensuring that processes in the Porsche plants ran smoothly. Now the 47-year-old faces further challenges. The new Chairman of the Executive Board in a portrait.

Even if everything appears to be running like clockwork, Oliver Blume’s thoughts are already wrestling with the next puzzle: How can the synchronisation of the line be set even more precisely? Where can valuable minutes be gained in the delivery of parts or in the production process? How can the production steps for assembly workers be designed more ergonomically – while of course maintaining maximum product quality? Hardly any car maker works as efficiently as Porsche – and nevertheless, even the best process can still be optimised just a little more.

As Member of the Executive Board for Production, Oliver Blume had adopted this principle in recent years like no one else – and by doing so had qualified himself for the Chairman’s post. “In view of his especially high technical expertise and his outstanding teamworking ability, we have found the best possible successor to Matthias Müller in Oliver Blume,” said Dr Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Leader of the works council, Uwe Hück, also thinks highly of the top manager: “Oliver Blume has a big heart. He is one of us and a Porsche person through and through. What I like about him is his down-to-earth nature, his socially minded attitude and his way of inspiring our colleagues.”

You can certainly notice this enthusiasm in Blume himself: “Porsche is an extremely emotional brand with a tremendous charisma; it is something very special.” This, he claims, not only applies to its products, which cause eyes to light up all over the world, but also to the working conditions of the people within the enterprise. “The company has a lean organisation and exceptionally motivated employees,” the top manager explained. “Coupled with this is a healthy portion of pragmatism and a very high speed of implementation. These are the things that inspire me and that I enjoy day in and day out.” In his private life, too, Stuttgart is the ideal place for Blume: he lives in the thick of it, close to the centre, with his wife and two daughters; this is where the passionate sports enthusiast has his regular jogging routes and trains for his next half marathon. 

Raised in the automotive region of Braunschweig

Blume was born and brought up quite a way further north, in Braunschweig. Very close to the local Volkswagen plant, surrounded by dozens of automotive suppliers, he grew up in a stronghold of the automotive industry. After he left secondary school, the Mechanical Engineering course at Technische Universität Braunschweig (University of Brunswick - Institute of Technology) was an obvious step to take and one which subsequently opened the door to the world of automobiles for him. With his degree in his pocket, he joined Audi as a trainee – the beginning of a steep career path. Since then, Blume has proved himself in various management positions at Audi, SEAT and Volkswagen through his precision, ambition and decisiveness. Above all, though, through his exceptional camaraderie: Oliver Blume’s companions respect him as an absolute team player. And literally so – even in his football club he played a key role for his team as sweeper. At Porsche he is a boss who gets involved; a clever strategist who values a friendly and collegial working relationship and who is interested in his employees.

Blume regards the team spirit and commitment of his employees as crucial factors in the successes that he has been able to achieve for the sports car maker in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen in recent years. When Blume took up his post as Member of the Executive Board for Production, Porsche was facing ground-breaking challenges. The sports car maker has since launched two extremely successful products onto the market with the Macan and 918 Spyder models. Porsche has set up an exclusive handcrafting workshop in Zuffenhausen for the super sports car. Other construction projects in progress include a new engine plant, a body shop and an analysis centre. A new training centre has already been opened. In total, Porsche is investing some 300 million in its main plant. In Saxony, too, the company is growing rapidly, and Leipzig has now become a full production plant. The expansion is now continuing for the Panamera, which will be built completely in Leipzig from 2016. Body shop, logistics centre, quality centre – everything is new, and the sports car maker is investing 500 million euros. Yet this is fully in keeping with the mission that Oliver Blume has defined for himself: “At Porsche, we are setting the right course for the future.”

The Porsche production system: thorough planning down to the last detail

In future too the tasks for Oliver Blume are set to remain varied and the projects fascinating. The high level of complexity and individuality, the art of reacting swiftly to unexpected changes and at the same time ensuring a smooth procedure – these are the challenges that Oliver Blume really enjoys. And as long as everything is running smoothly and to schedule, the creative technician, the tactician and lover of detail, Oliver Blume, prefers to take a back seat behind his complex plans. He is more the reserved type and does not necessarily need to be in the limelight. As Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche, however, he will have difficulty avoiding it in future.

Oliver Blume

Oliver Blume was born in 1968 in Braunschweig, Germany, where he also completed his ‘A’ levels and his degree in mechanical engineering at the city’s university of technology. Directly after graduating, he immediately entered the automotive industry through the international trainee programme at Audi AG and then worked as a planner for the body and paint shops. Just three years later he took over management of the body shop for the Audi A3. In 2001, Blume received his doctorate from Tongji University in Shanghai and in the same year was appointed assistant to the Board of Management of Audi AG for Production. From 2003, he managed the Audi pilot plants across all sites, in 2004 he moved to Barcelona as Head of Planning and the Pilot Series Centre with SEAT and in 2009 he became Head of Production Planning for the Volkswagen brand. In 2013, he took over as Member of the Executive Board for Production and Logistics at Porsche AG in Stuttgart before being appointed Chairman of the Executive Board there.

Consumption data

918 Spyder: Combined fuel consumption: 3,1 – 3,0 l/100 km; CO2 emissions: 72-70 g/km; Electricity consumption 12.7 kWh/100 km

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