Simone Bagel-Trah

Henkel and the Joy of Science

Henkel simone bagel-trah picture alliance
Ms. Bagel-Trah is the offspring of the founder of Henkel who started the company in 1876 in Aachen.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The great-great granddaughter of company founder Fritz Henkel, Ms. Bagel-Trah is one of the most influential women in German business.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Ms. Bagel-Trah, supervisory board chairman of Henkel since September 2009, is the only female supervisory board chairman of a company listed on Germany’s benchmark DAX stock-market index.
    • She also founded Antiinfectives Intelligence, a company focused on clinical microbiological research and communication, where she remains a partner and managing director.
    • Ms. Bagel-Trah denies seeking a replacement for Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted, whom she praises for his leadership.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Simone Bagel-Trah, 46, chairs Henkel’s supervisory board, the non-executive board that hires and fires chief executives and confirms strategic direction. She has held the post at the consumer and industrial products giant since September 2009.

Ms. Bagel-Trah is the great-great granddaughter of company founder Fritz Henkel, and she is the only female supervisory board chairman of a company listed on Germany’s benchmark DAX stock-market index.

After receiving her PhD in microbiology, Ms. Bagel-Trah, a mother of two, founded Antiinfectives Intelligence, a company focused on clinical microbiological research and communication, where she remains a partner and managing director.

In a wide-ranging interview with German business weekly WirtschaftsWoche, she discussed Henkel, diversity, science, politics, VW, terrorism, refugees and her family dynasty.

 

WirtschaftsWoche: Ms. Bagel-Trah, your chief executive Kasper Rorsted is on the road around 200 days of the year. How often do you traverse Henkel’s global empire?

Simone Bagel-Trah: I spend most of my time in Düsseldorf, often leading discussions with management and employees. When I do travel for Henkel, it’s usually together with managers. Recently I visited several sites in Brazil with Jan-Dirk Auris, head of adhesive technologies.

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